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Deputy Secretary General of NATO Rose Gottemoeller has said Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic aspirations are not idealistic, but realistic.

"It's not so idealistic for Ukraine to have Euro-Atlantic aspirations and to wish to join both NATO and the European Union. I think those are very important and realistic goals. But I'm not going to hide from you that you have a lot of heavy-lifting to do before you are ready for NATO membership," she said at the 11th Kyiv Security Forum.

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"Important reforms have to be carried out. They are the reforms of defense institutions, security institutions, including the ministries represented here. And I think, you know, if I had one piece of advice for Ukraine, it is to keep the focus on reforms now, front and center. But your Euro-Atlantic aspirations are not idealistic, they are not – by a long shot, they are realistic," Gottemoeller said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on March 28 signed a decree "On approval of the Annual National Program under the auspices of the Ukraine-NATO Commission for 2018". "The Annual National Program (ANP 2018) should ensure the fulfillment of priority tasks of Ukraine's cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as well as relevant decisions taken during the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission at the level of heads of state and government held in Warsaw (Poland) July 9, 2016, and other important agreements with the NATO," the presidential administration reported on its website. In this regard, it is noted that ANP 2018 is a systemic strategic document that defines priorities for 2018 and medium-term goals to be achieved by 2020.

The document also envisages relevant practical measures to be taken in the framework of Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration policy as well as reform of the country's security and defense sector in line with NATO's standards and recommendations. "The program is aimed at attracting and employing the potential as well as practical, consultative and advisory assistance of NATO and member states with the aim of enhancing Ukraine's defense capability in the context of Russia's armed aggression, as well as the introduction of targeted and systemic measures to prepare the state for gaining NATO membership," the report said.