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Expert says Ukraine very 'far away' from NATO right now

July 10, 18:45 UTC+3 KIEV

Analysts believe that statement on the membership plan is "a ritual phrase", and Ukrainians should not deceive themselves

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An Ukrainian soldier taking part in NATO military drills at the training area in Grafenwoehr, Germany

An Ukrainian soldier taking part in NATO military drills at the training area in Grafenwoehr, Germany

© EPA/CHRISTIAN BRUNA

KIEV, July 10. /TASS/. Ukraine is much further away from NATO today than it was in 2008 when it requested under then-President Viktor Yushchenko to grant it an action plan for joining the alliance, Ukrainian expert in international relations Oleg Voloshin told TASS on Monday.

The expert thus commented on Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s statement on the start of a discussion on this issue.

"The distance between Ukraine and NATO has become larger and it [Ukraine] is much further away from the alliance, much further than it was in 2008," the expert said.

Poroshenko’s statement on the start of a discussion on the plan for Ukraine to join the military alliance is just a formal declaration, Voloshin said.

"There is nothing specific behind the phrase, which he pronounced in the presence of the alliance’s Secretary General, and this discussion is about nothing," the expert said.

In the expert’s opinion, the statement on the membership plan is "a ritual phrase" while Ukrainians should not deceive themselves, expecting to join the alliance soon.

"To be or not to be in the alliance is a purely political issue and it will be primarily decided by 29 members of the alliance," Voloshin added.

Moreover, "an absolutely unprepared new member" may be admitted to the alliance while "Ukraine may be denied admission for the obvious reason - instability in the east," the expert said.

Ukrainian President Poroshenko announced on Monday he had proposed to Stoltenberg to start discussions on granting Ukraine an action plan for preparing for membership in the alliance.

According to the Ukrainian president, he received a positive answer to this proposal.

At the NATO summit in 2008, Ukraine was denied the alliance’s membership action plan.

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