Advertisement

Ukraine moves toward NATO membership, away from Russia

The decision will make military alliances possible.

By Ed Adamczyk
Ukraine moves toward NATO membership, away from Russia
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, right, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko before their meeting in Kiev on Nov. 21. Photo by Ivan Vakolenko/UPI | License Photo

KIEV, Ukraine, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Ukraine's Parliament voted Tuesday to abolish its neutral, non-aligned status and direct its attention to future NATO membership.

It voted, 303 to 8, to eliminate the status, which has kept the country from entering military alliances, adopted under pressure from Russia in 2010. Prior to the vote, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said the change "will lead to integration in the European and the Euro-Atlantic space" and away from Russian influence.

Advertisement

President Petro Poroshenko has said a better assimilation with the West is a Ukrainian priority, and NATO membership is a goal, although not an immediate one. Speaking to foreign ambassadors Monday, Poroshenko said Ukraine's "fight for its independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty has turned into a decisive factor in our relations with the world."

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in a Facebook post that the Ukrainian refutation of neutrality would have "negative consequences," adding NATO membership for Ukraine would turn the country into a "potential military adversary of Russia."

Andrei Kelin, Russian representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the body overseeing peace negotiations between Kiev and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, told Russia's Interfax news agency Moscow would "negatively respond" to Ukraine's attempts to join NATO.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement