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KIEV, September 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine may be granted a status of a US non-NATO ally this year, Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko said on Tuesday, adding that this issue would be in focus of a forthcoming meeting between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US President Barack Obama.
“Due to the situation our country is currently in, we have a perspective of being granted the status of a US ally rather promptly. I think this will take place already this year,” he told a briefing. According to Petrenko, this status will make it possible for Kiev to dramatically expand military-technical cooperation and “obtain a mechanism allowing to buy weapons” that Ukraine needs.
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.
Earlier, Mikhaylo Koval, a deputy chief of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, announced Kiev’s plans to seek such a status. “Our state hopes for the United States’ assistance and wants to be granted a special status of its major non-NATO ally,” he said.
Major non-NATO ally (MNNA) is a designation given by the United States government to close allies who have strategic working relationships with US Armed Forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). MNNA status was first created in 1989. Nations enjoying MNNA status are eligible for a number of benefits, such as 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.