Russia’s stand regarding Ukraine entry in NATO is based on a myth that Ukraine is Russia’s backyard. Russia is against closer cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, fearing it may lose its grip on Ukraine, Lithuania permanent representative in NATO Linas Linkyavichus said, addressing a roundtable in Lviv Franko University May 19, according to ZIK.

He also noted that Russia – NATO talks are held on a more frequent basis that the talks between Ukraine and the alliance.

      “Russia’s current policy puts more questions than provides answers. We are still unaware in what direction Russia will move or what stand its leaders will take. Before joining NATO, Ukraine will have to prove that it has good-neighborly intentions with Russia, like Lithuania had done, despite the fact that many security risks are coming from the East, not from NATO or Europe,” Lithuanian lawmaker Petras Aushtryavichus remarked.

      To quote him, the May 9 military parade in Moscow is viewed in the West as an indication that the President-elect Medvedev is amid law-enforcement structures that prevent him from taking a more liberal stand. “The way the power was transferred by Putin to Medvedev has nothing to do with European democracy. It is rather the authoritarian capitalism as the country’s finances are controlled by non-democratic structures,” P. Aushtryavichus stressed.