Photo from UNIAN, Mykhailo Palinchak

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has congratulated on NATO's 72 anniversary, adding that he counts on support of the Allies in granting Ukraine a Membership Action Plan.

"Congratulations to NATO  partners on the anniversary of The North Atlantic Treaty! Look forward to extending our practical cooperation to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security. Count on support of Allies in granting MAP to #Ukraine. The Army of Ukraine is strong & continues needed reforms," Zelensky tweeted.

At the same time, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak in his address said Ukraine's accession to NATO as a full-fledged member would benefit the Alliance.

"We effectively utilize NATO partnership tools and mechanisms to support such engagement with the Alliance, that has progressed even further with Ukraine's recognition as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner. Ukraine is now one of six Enhanced Opportunities Partners, alongside Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan and Sweden. And we work on particular practical measures to add practical value to such cooperation format," Khomchak noted.

In 2021, the top official said, Ukraine's Army will take part in 15 multinational exercises abroad and will host nine multinational drills on own territory. Also, he recalled Ukraine's continued efforts as part of NATO-led operations and missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan and plans in the works to join NATO Mission in Iraq and NATO Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean Sea.  

Read alsoNATO says it is concerned about Russian military build-up near Ukraine – media"Such cooperation is of a peaceful nature and bolsters Ukraine’s efforts towards strengthening national defense capabilities, and reaching military criteria of a full-fledged NATO membership," Khomchak stressed.

Ukraine's accession to NATO will "undoubtedly benefit not only Ukraine, but the Alliance itself," noted the Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, which he says in recent years "have become a real 'Shield for Europe'," while Ukraine has become "an active contributor to the Euro Atlantic security."

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