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KIEV, June 4. /TASS/. Ukraine’s security sphere in general will be unified in line with the standards of NATO, although the final decision on Kiev’s joining the alliance will be taken at a referendum, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday.
"Everything that we are going to do in the security sphere will be unified in line with the NATO standards," Poroshenko told the parliament, the Verkhovna Rada. "Our task is to achieve in full all the necessary criteria for accession," he stressed.
The Ukrainian president said however the right to take the final decision in this sensitive and very important sphere belongs to the Ukrainian people at the referendum.
In late December, Ukraine’s parliament voted to renounce the country’s non-aligned status in a move that paves the way for Kiev’s NATO membership bid. It is likely to take years for Ukraine to meet the criteria for accession to the bloc.
Russian offiails have repeatedly expressed their opposition to Ukraine's course towards NATO membership. The speaker of Russia's lower parliament house, Sergey Naryshkin, in TASS special project Top Officials said that Moscow will provide an "adequate response" if a decision is taken on Ukraine’s joining NATO.
Russian ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko in late May said Russia considers NATO a threat and in case of the alliance's expansion has every right to ensure its security.