NATO Ambassadors to visit Ukraine in June

12:07, 05 May 2008
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In a show of support

NATO`s 26 ambassadors will visit Ukraine in June in a show of support as the country strives to join the military alliance despite public and Russian opposition, a spokesman said Wednesday, according to AFP.

"The entire North Atlantic Council will be traveling to Ukraine in June," the spokesman said, adding that an exact date had not yet been finalized.

"It will be a visible demonstration of NATO`s intensive engagement with Ukraine," he said, and allow Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the ambassadors to meet government officials.

It would also provide them with the opportunity to "do some public diplomacy" in the former Soviet state, with the support of citizens for NATO membership declining even as Ukraine`s leaders remain keen to join.

NATO decided at a summit early this month not to grant Ukraine candidate status but it did underline that Kiev would enter the world`s biggest military alliance at some point in the future.

Russia sees the expansion of NATO to Ukraine, and also Georgia, and the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile shield in central Europe as major threats to its security.

AFP

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