President seeks closer ties with NATO

18:23, 18 September 2006
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As it coincides with national interests

Victor Yushchenko has told reporters those who claim Ukraine is not ready to join NATO are wrong and their statements inconsistent with national interests, according to the President’s press-office.

      The President said he had harshly criticized Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych for his erroneous speech at yesterday’s meeting in Brussels.

      “I clearly understand that his tone has been formed on the basis of political positions within the coalition and the Regions Party faction. I admit that some politicians in this party, perhaps, have a different vision of defense and security policies of the nation,” he said, adding that Ukraine had long ago passed a law stipulating its EU and NATO accession. “Thus I would like to say again that this is the basis for pushing our foreign policies forward in this issue.”

      The Head of State urged the government and political forces involved in the formulation of Ukraine’s foreign doctrine to adhere to the country`s laws. He also reiterated that our Euro-Atlantic aspirations formed the basics of the National Unity Pact.

      “I accepted the prime minister’s explanation that his position and the position of his political force was firm as far as the implementation of the fundamentals of the Law on national security and Ukraine’s integration into the EU and NATO, including full membership,” he said. “I am deeply convinced his arguments […] are faulty and inconsistent with national interests, and should be revised.”

      Mr. Yushchenko characterized Viktor Yanukovych’s statement on EU membership as “quite consistent.” He said Ukraine was now developing an enhanced agreement with the European Union.

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