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Yanukovich: NATO not a sure thing

Aug. 7, 2006 at 11:39 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Viktor Yanukovich, the pro-Russian prime minister of Ukraine, says NATO membership should be a joint decision by all the country's leaders.

In contrast, President Viktor Yuschenko, who came to power in the pro-Western Orange Revolution, wants Ukraine to join the alliance, Novosti reported.

"I am convinced the authorities will now make balanced and collective decisions," Yanukovich said. "The government, president and parliament will decide (on NATO membership) together. NATO is a very sensitive issue for our society."

The national unity pact, which ended months of political stalemate, calls for a referendum on NATO. All the major political groups signed on except the allies of Yulia Timoshenko, Yuschenko's first prime minister.

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