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BERLIN, November 17. /TASS/. It is too early for Ukraine to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in an interview with the German daily Bild on Monday.
Speaking on Kiev’s plans to join the North Atlantic Alliance, Poroshenko said, “There is a prospect of joining the European Union. Even if we sent a request to join NATO, the bloc itself would not be ready for this.”
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian leader did not rule out such a possibility in the future. “Only when we implement reforms in Ukraine and comply with criteria, then we will be able to ask the population whether they want to join the Alliance,” Poroshenko said.
In late September, Poroshenko called on the US Congress to give Ukraine a special security status reflecting the highest level of NATO ties with a non-member. However, US President Barack Obama’s answer to the plea was “no.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier 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.