U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today released a statement on Ukraine`s readiness to advance a Membership Action Plan (MAP) with NATO. According to the Senator’s press, office, the statement reads as follows:
"I welcome the decision by President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and Parliament Chairman Arseny Yatsenyuk to declare Ukraine`s readiness to advance a Membership Action Plan (MAP) with NATO.
"The extension of NATO membership to new democracies in Europe has helped create a zone of peace and prosperity across Europe and enhanced NATO`s military capability by facilitating contributions from new members. I therefore applaud the Ukrainian leaders` commitment to deepening the democratic reforms required of all NATO members and to undertaking new responsibilities in their relationship with the Alliance.
The Ukrainian leadership`s determination to foster national unity and consult the Ukrainian people on the question of Ukraine`s future in NATO demonstrates the importance they place on national unity and open, democratic debate.
"NATO`s upcoming summit in Bucharest in April 2008 is a critical opportunity to continue to build the Europe "whole and free" that has been the goal of all recent U.S. presidents. I call on President Bush and all of NATO`s leaders to seize that opportunity."