Ukraine says to seek closer ties with NATO in 2021

Published: 08:04 PM, 1 Dec, 2020
Ukraine says to seek closer ties with NATO in 2021
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Ukraine said Tuesday it hopes to build closer ties with NATO in 2021 despite objections from Moscow and the continued conflict with Russia-backed separatists in the east.

Speaking to NATO ambassadors in Kiev, Defence Minister Andriy Taran said Ukraine hopes to be invited next year to join a Membership Action Plan, the first formal step towards becoming a part of the Western military alliance.

"We look forward to your... support for such a decision at the next NATO Summit in 2021," Taran said.

He said membership for Ukraine and fellow ex-Soviet aspirant Georgia would have "a significant impact on Euro-Atlantic security and stability, in particular in the Black Sea region".

Ukraine's pro-Western leadership closely cooperates with NATO and last year parliament adopted constitutional changes spelling out its aspirations to join the alliance and the European Union.

The amendments cemented Kiev's goal of obtaining full membership in both blocs and obliged the president, government and parliament to stick to this course.

Ukraine has been fighting a Russian-backed insurgency in its eastern regions after Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, a conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives.

Kiev sees NATO accession as a key way to bolster its defences against Moscow, which has accused the alliance of seeking to make inroads in its traditional sphere of influence.


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.