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Kiev’s EU, NATO aspirations nothing but pre-election rhetoric — opposition candidate

"Instead of building a pro-Atlantic or pro-something country, we favor creating a pro-Ukrainian state," he said.

KIEV, February 6. /TASS/. The incumbent Ukrainian government’s attempt to waive the country’s neutral status enshrined in the constitution and opt for EU and NATO membership instead is nothing but pre-election campaigning deprived of any practical sense, opposition lawmaker Yuri Boyko said on Tuesday.

On February 7, Ukraine’s parliament Verkhovna Rada is expected to hear a bill on amending the constitution to add a provision about the country’s strategic course for becoming a full-fledged member of the European Union and NATO.

"Attempts are being made to drag the parliament into the election campaign of the incumbent president. This, among other things, is about amending the constitution to include the EU and NATO aspirations. This is nothing but electoral campaigning, intended to create another rift in the society. It will have no practical consequences, because neither the EU nor NATO are willing to have us as a member, and a clear signal was made about this. Besides, such amendments are clearly in violation of the country’s basic legal document and were introduced with only one goal - the goal for power, based on war, poverty and civil discord," said Boyko, who is a leader of the Opposition Platform - For Life party.

Boyko added that his party strongly opposes such developments and favors preserving the country’s neutral status in military and political affairs and partnership with all neighboring countries.

"Instead of building a pro-Atlantic or pro-something country, we favor creating a pro-Ukrainian state," he said.

Ukraine’s July 16, 1990 declaration of state sovereignty proclaimed the course of gaining the status of a permanently neutral country which is not a member to any military bloc. This course was enshrined in the August 24, 1991 Act of Declaring Independence and confirmed in a nationwide referendum on December 1, 1991. Changes to the country’s political course, which entail delegating part of Ukraine’s national sovereignty to some other entity or organization, can only be made after Section 1 of the country’s constitution is amended following a nationwide referendum. Neither the parliament, nor any other state body has the right to do so on its own whim.