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Ukraine should preserve off-bloc status — presidential candidate

April 23, 2014, 16:08 UTC+3 KIEV

Serhiy Tihipko says Ukraine has no chances to become a NATO member state "in the current situation with Crimea"

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Serhiy Tihipko

Serhiy Tihipko

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Sindeev

KIEV, April 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine should preserve an off-bloc status, but at the same time it is important to carry out reforms in the army, Ukrainian presidential candidate Serhiy Tihipko told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.

“We should keep an off-bloc status now,” he said. “At the same time, we should carry out reforms in the army. The off-bloc status is also dictated by the fact that the European countries are very cautious in this issue. We have no chances to become a NATO member state in the current situation with Crimea (the Russian Republic),” Tihipko added.

In reply to journalists’ question about relations with Russia, Tihipko noted, “It is needed to try to restore relations with Russia, though it may be unpopular with several regions.” “Economy in south-eastern regions of the country depends on relations with Russia,” he noted, recalling Ukraine “has already lost 31% of the Russian market.” Meanwhile, “it is also needed to think about European integration,” Tihipko said.

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