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NEW YORK, April 26, /ITAR-TASS/. Former Prime Minister and Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party leader Yulia Timoshenko said Ukraine “must be a member of NATO” even though a large part of people has many times spoken against this.
In an interview with The Associated Press, excerpts from which were published on Saturday, April 26, Timoshenko, who is running for presidency in Ukraine, spoke of a “fundamental change” in public thinking following the latest events in the east of the country and Russia’s actions.
She believes that the mentality of Ukrainians has changed as has the strategic course of the country. “NATO is the best choice for Ukraine,” she said.
The Associated Press said Timoshenko had previously not supported the idea of Ukraine’s membership in NATO.
Timoshenko is confident that no Third World War will start over the events in Ukraine and believes that “the world will not allow World War III”.
She also welcomed a new round of sanctions on Russia.
Also Timoshenko has urged her competitor Pyotr Poroshenko to revoke his proposal for talks with Russia.
“I want to stress once again that Pyotr Poroshenko’s proposal to the Russian Federation that Russia should determine the place and time of the talks is unacceptable. The negotiation process being conducted in the EU-US-Ukraine-Russia format may not be broken,” Timoshenko said in a statement published on her party’s official website on Saturday, April 26.
“If any of the politicians breaks the negotiation process now and breaks the tough sanctions imposed upon Russia, this will practically legalise the occupation of Crimea and acceptance of Russia’s ultimatums,” she said, adding, “This will basically mean capitulation.”
Timoshenko urged Poroshenko “not to break the negotiation process” and “to withdraw the proposal for a transition to such unclear bilateral negotiations”.
On Friday, April 25, Poroshenko, speaking at the “Ukraine-Russia: Dialogue” congress, asked Moscow “to name the place and time” for talks, while accusing Russia of being unwilling to implement the Geneva accord of April 17 which calls for de-escalation of tensions in Ukraine.
Tycoon Pyotr Poroshenko is enjoying the biggest support among the constituencies, according to public opinion polls published this week. They indicate that 32.9% of respondents are ready to vote for him in the upcoming presidential elections slated for May 25. Timoshenko is second and trailing far behind with 9.5%, followed by MP Sergei Tigipko.
In early April, Poroshenko, replying to a question whether Kiev wanted to join NATO urgently, said, “No, this does not depend on us; this depends on the organisation itself. We can feel that there is no consensus among its member countries on this issue. As president I would like to conduct negotiations with our neighbours about new alliances or additional security possibilities,” he said.