MPs block rostrum to protest leadership`s NATO plans
Opposition factions press the Speaker
Members of opposition factions in Ukraine`s parliament protested on Friday against the leadership`s drive for NATO membership, blocking the rostrum, according to RIA Novosti.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk sent a letter to the alliance`s Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer expressing their hope that the country could join the action plan for joining NATO at a summit scheduled for early April in Bucharest.
The Communist Party pledged a no-confidence motion unless the speaker recalls his signature. However, the speaker said the letter did not mention Ukraine`s NATO ambitions.
"The issue of joining NATO is not currently on the agenda," he said.
Participation in the NATO Membership Action Plan does not automatically mean a country will be admitted to the bloc, but is the first step toward membership.