NATO is planning to speak with the new Ukrainian leadership about partnership and practical cooperation to be developed as part of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said this at a press conference on Monday, while announcing the forthcoming meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which will be held at the alliance's headquarters during a defense ministerial meeting on June 10-11.
"Next, we will have the first meeting at a ministerial level with the new Ukrainian government. NATO's point of view is straightforward: we respect 100% Ukraine's choices when it comes to its relationship with NATO. The Ukrainian government wants to focus on partnership and practical cooperation. That is what we will discuss at the NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting," he said.
When asked how legislative changes in Ukraine's intentions with regard to NATO membership (Ukraine's non-aligned status) could affect the development of bilateral relations, Rasmussen said that such cooperation would continue as part of the NATO-Ukraine Commission.
"It is completely clear that Ukraine decides how relations with NATO will develop in the coming years. Our decision, adopted at the Bucharest summit in 2008, remains unchanged - our doors are open to the countries that want to become NATO members and meet all of the necessary criteria. But each country individually decides (on the format of its relations with NATO – editor.)," Rasmussen said.
He also noted that he was positive about the upcoming meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission.
"I think this emphasizes that the new Ukrainian government wants to continue cooperation with NATO," Rasmussen said.
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