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Ukraine aware no NATO membership possible at the moment — Poroshenko

September 19, 2014, 10:41 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
Poroshenko said Ukraine needs to strengthen its armed forces, while acknowledging that the months-long conflict in the country has no military solution
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Petro Poroshenko

Petro Poroshenko

© AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

WASHINGTON, September 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian leadership is aware that Kiev cannot ask to be granted membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at the moment, but does not rule out such a possibility in future, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Friday.

“We are polite enough not to ask for the membership in NATO now, but we bear this [possibility] in mind,” Poroshenko said on Thursday in his speech at the Atlantic Council in Washington.

Poroshenko said Ukraine needs to strengthen its armed forces, while acknowledging that the months-long conflict in the country “has no military solution” and may be resolved only through diplomatic means.

Ukrainian president has confirmed readiness to seek peaceful resolution of the crisis in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics as part of the Minsk peace process.

“I definitely know how to achieve peace and I will succeed in this effort,” Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko called on the US Congress on Thursday to give Ukraine a special security status reflecting the highest level of NATO ties with a non-member. In his speech before US legislators, the Ukrainian leader said Kiev needed more military equipment, both lethal and non-lethal.

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Ukraine's non-aligned status is "a basic issue" for Moscow, adding that Kiev’s attempts for closer ties with NATO are a US-inspired bid to “drive a wedge” between Russia and Europe.

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