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Calls for Ukraine’s joining NATO aimed to derail peace process — FM Lavrov

September 04, 2014, 12:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the minister it was not coincidental that calls for Ukraine’s non-ally NATO status were voiced after the Russian and Ukrainian presidents held talks on the ways to resolve the conflict
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MOSCOW, September 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Initiatives of some political forces in Kiev concerning Ukraine’s drive to join NATO seems as attempts to ‘derail’ the peace process in Russia’s embattled neighboring Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

According to the Russian minister it was not coincidental that calls for Ukraine’s non-ally NATO status were voiced after the Russian and Ukrainian presidents held talks on the possible ways to resolve the conflict and after a session of the Contact Group was held in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

“This is an obvious attempt to derail all efforts to initiate a dialogue aimed at providing national security,” Lavrov said during his meeting with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn.

“I am positive that until we refuse attempts to eternalize separating lines in Europe, until we seriously start dealing in practice with the principle of security inseparability in its all dimensions, in other words until we systematically resolve problems of the all-European nature, we will keep encountering from time to time situations similar to the crisis in Ukraine,” the top Russian diplomat added.

Ukrainian Minister of Justice Pavel Petrenko said on Tuesday that Ukraine might be granted a status of a US non-NATO ally this year and the issue would be in the focus of a forthcoming meeting between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US President Barack Obama.

He said the status of a US non-NATO ally would be an “intermediate stage” in Ukraine’s drive towards full-fledged membership in the North Atlantic Alliance.

The same opinion was also voiced by Mikhail Koval, a deputy chief of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council.

The status of Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) is granted by the United States government to close allies, which have strategic ties with US Armed Forces, but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Nations enjoying the MNNA status, which officially emerged in 1989, are eligible for a number of benefits, such as the participation in cooperative defense-related initiatives, supplies of certain types of weapons, joint participation in space projects.

The United States’ major non-NATO allies are Australia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and a number of other states.

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