Ukraine wants to draw closer to NATO

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko in Wales
AP/Scanpix

“It seemed to me that Ukraine wants to draw closer to the Alliance. The willingness to take advantage of the cooperation potential is entirely clear and truly comprehensible,” Linkevičius said in a telephone interview to BNS from Wales on Thursday.

In his words, the Wales summit reminds him of NATO’s Bucharest summit of 2008, which announced future membership perspectives for Ukraine and Georgia. Kiev later revised its position and stipulated neutrality in laws, however, a few days ago the government again announced its desire to join NATO.

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“Knowing that there are discussions at the Ukrainian parliament, the position [not to seek NATO membership] can change in the long run,” said Linkevičius.

Asked by BNS about what Ukraine thinks of the possibility of ceasefire with pro-Russian separatists, the Lithuanian minister said the NATO summit did not discuss the possibility in detail, however, “there were comments that it is difficult to talk about ceasefire when Russia, which is the cause of all disturbances, denies having anything to do with it.”

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The Western world has accused Russia of sending troops and military equipment to eastern Ukraine, which is still locked in clashes between separatists and government forces. Moscow has denied the accusations.

Linkevičius also confirmed that Lithuania will contribute to the special fund created by NATO to support the Ukrainian army, but refused to specify the sum of money to be earmarked by Lithuania.

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