After being denied an offer to join NATO`s membership action plan, Ukrainian officials announced an initiative to assess whether citizens support joining NATO, according to UPI.

Ukrainian First Deputy Foreign Minister Volodymyr Khandohiy says that NATO member states will be assessing the level of support that Ukrainian citizens have concerning Ukraine`s membership in the alliance. Khandohiy called a high level of support crucial if the country is to be allowed to join the membership action plan, the Ukrainian government reported.

At the recent NATO Bucharest summit, Ukraine`s permission to join the NATO membership action plan was denied, postponing another decision until December 2008.

"It is impossible to become a member of the alliance if people are against that," Khandohiy said in a statement. "We will not be just invited. Besides, NATO member states will assess themselves this support.

"If we analyze the NATO summit in Bucharest and investigate why Ukraine received no clear answer to its request to join the membership action plan of the alliance, one of the important arguments was the low level of supporting this idea in Ukraine."