Ukraine says it will focus on reforms, not North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2017

"The introduction of a system of preliminary electronic registration for Russian citizens entering Ukraine or the so-called biometric control is, in fact, the establishment of a visa regime between our countries, and the way it is named is of no fundamental importance", Klintsevich said. "This will considerably boost opportunities in terms of the fight against terrorism", Poroshenko said, expressing confidence that the proposed draft decisions will be absolutely understood and supported by society.

Speaking at a meeting Monday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Kiev, Poroshenko said Ukraine would not be applying for a NATO membership "immediately" but would instead "build a genuine program of reforms" to meet NATO requirements for membership in the future.

Since 2014, Ukraine has been battling a Russian-backed insurgency sparked by Moscow's forced annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

However, Ukraine still has much to do to reform Soviet-era administration and infrastructure to bring it closer into line with its western neighbors and to curb corruption, he added.

Stoltenberg called on Russian Federation to withdraw thousands of troops from Ukraine - forces that Moscow has repeatedly denied sending - and raised concerns about the growing threats to the safety of worldwide teams monitoring the conflict.

Stoltenberg announced the alliance would be supplying hardware to protect Ukraine's computers from cyberattacks.

"For many years Russia has been anxious by NATO's military infrastructure moving closer to our borders, potentially this could be the next step", Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Other members of the Warsaw pact to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation were Albania in 2009, and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania in 2004.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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