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US Senator McCain refuses to join Ukraine’s advisory council on reforms

May 15, 2015, 9:30 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
A decree of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday listed McCain as one of eight foreign members of the council
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© EPA/TASS/ JIM LO SCALZO

WASHINGTON, May 15. /TASS/. US Senator John McCain who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee said in a statement on Thursday he would not join Ukraine’s International Advisory Council on Reforms.

McCain said he was "honored to be asked" to join the council, which is "a forum for discussing ways to ensure Ukraine’s territorial integrity and security and support the country’s democratic future."

"However, under provisions of the US Constitution concerning the interaction of Members of Congress with foreign governments, I am obligated to decline the invitation," he said.

Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili, who was appointed as the head of the council earlier this week, wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday that McCain had agreed in principle to participate in the forum.

"He once again confirmed this when talking to me today," Saakashvili said, adding that McCain needed to complete the formal procedures under the US Congress rules.

A decree of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday listed McCain as one of eight foreign members of the council. Several former ministers of EU countries and a European Parliament member, Jacek Emil Saryusz-Wolski, are also named as the council members.

The International Advisory Council on Reforms is an advisory body to the Ukrainian president.

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