Ukraine should join collective security mechanism as soon as possible to safeguard the country`s territorial integrity, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said Wednesday, according to Xinhua.

    "Ukraine`s joining the collective security system and the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) is a good way to obtain international guarantees of its sovereignty," Yushchenko told a press conference after meeting his Romanian counterpart Traian Basescu in Kyiv.

    Yushchenko said Russia must withdraw its Black Sea Fleet from Ukraine`s territory by 2017 and this deadline will be unchanged, urging Russia to begin talks immediately on the rent of the naval base and other controversial issues.

    Basescu said Romania supports Ukraine`s and Georgia`s bids for the MAP, adding that the recent events in Georgia underlined the instancy of considering their aspirations for joining the military alliance.

    Basescu arrived here on Wednesday for a one-day working visit to Ukraine.