Yushchenko to attend Bucharest NATO summit

13:27, 19 March 2008
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To discuss expansion of the alliance eastward

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko will attend a NATO summit in Bucharest expected to discuss expansion of the alliance eastward. According to DPA, Yushchenko, a supporter of Ukraine`s early membership in NATO, had delayed announcement on his plans to attend the April 2-4 meetings in Bucharest because of domestic opposition.

An acrimonious dispute over whether or not even to discuss NATO membership, pitting pro-Europe and pro-Russia political factions in Ukraine`s national legislature, has stalled the country`s parliament for more than a month.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel added fuel to the fire last week, speaking against Ukraine`s and Georgia`s joining NATO any time soon on grounds the countries lack widespread public support for the idea.

Merkel`s remarks and Ukrainian domestic opposition notwithstanding, Yushchenko will during the Bucharest conference sign an agreement with NATO setting forth a precise step-by-step plan for Ukraine`s membership in the Atlantic Alliance, said Oleksander Chaly, a Yushchenko spokesman.

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