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Naive to believe NATO won’t accept Ukraine — Russia’s EU envoy

December 26, 2014, 14:21 UTC+3

The adoption of a law on canceling Ukraine’s non-aligned status has a serious political importance, Russia’s Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov says

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Ukrainian woman in national dress dances during the opening ceremony of joint military exercises near the city of Lviv, Ukraine

Ukrainian woman in national dress dances during the opening ceremony of joint military exercises near the city of Lviv, Ukraine


MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. It is naive to suggest that Kiev’s move to abandon a non-bloc status will not result in real actions and NATO will not accept Ukraine, Russia’s EU envoy Vladimir Chizhov said during a video link-up on Friday.

“Thinking that it is formality that will not result in any further real actions and hoping that NATO will not accept Ukraine is naive,” Chizhov said.

Ukraine’s decision earlier this week to adopt a law on canceling the country’s non-aligned status has “a serious political importance” in the context of the current Ukrainian crisis, he said.

“Imagine what kind of a signal this decision gives to the people of Donbas,” who have a negative perception of NATO as a bloc and cherish the memory of the Great Patriotic War.

The diplomat said it is essential to see what’s behind Ukraine’s move.

“This decision means a strategic choice of the current Ukrainian leadership, the choice towards strengthening cooperation. No matter what shape it will take in the coming years, but this is a choice towards deepening the cooperation with NATO,” Chizhov said.

In fact, this is a contribution towards “creating new dividing lines in Europe” and Kiev’s attempts to erect the notorious wall on the border with Russia only confirm the plans, he said.

Under the Wall project, a ditch 4 meters wide and 2 meters deep will be dug on the land border with Russia. The costs of the construction, which could take up to four years, are estimated at over $500 million.

Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, on Tuesday voted to give up Ukraine’s non-aligned status. The bill submitted by President Petro Poroshenko envisioned “giving up the status of a non-aligned state and return to the policy of rapprochement with NATO.”

In comments to the announcement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the idea of Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership is dangerous not only for the Ukrainian people, but also for entire European security.

Ukraine cannot join NATO as long as an armed conflict continues in the southeast of the country.

In late November, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the membership may be sought by countries that fulfil the criteria for becoming NATO allies, and that is also valid for Ukraine.

Kiev started building ties with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Ukraine was one of the first former Soviet states which joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program in 1994.


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