Ukrainian Security and Defence Council approved of the strategy of Ukraine’s relationship to NATO, whose final aim is Ukraine’s joining the alliance. This was reported on Thursday, by the Security and Defence Council’s secretary, Yevgeny Marchuk. According to him, the decision was taken at the sitting of the Council, which was presided over by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. The new strategy signifies Ukraine’s refuse from earlier declared neutrality as of its participation in blocs, which was characterized by the secretary as having no prospects. “Today, the question was about necessity to work out a long-term strategy whose final aim should be Ukraine’s joining the further system of collective security on which NATO is based,” – Yevgeny Marchuk said. He supposes that “in the conditions of NATO’s active expansion and warming of Russia’s relationship to the alliance, joining the union which consists now of 19 members is advantageous and necessary for Ukraine.” Though, the final decision about joining NATO should be taken with support of the Supreme Rada and of the whole society. But, the society does not have a united position on the question of the membership. Moreover, Ukraine is hardly able to reach NATO’s standards at least in the military sphere, and as for democracy, it is the more impossible. For the time being, the alliance is not aware of Ukraine’s new manoeuvre of foreign policy. According to Marchuk, Ukraine will inform NATO about its strategy July 9, when the alliance’s secretary, George Robertson arrives in Ukraine. May 14, foreign ministers of NATO member countries at the meeting in Reikyavik took a decision to invite Ukraine to the NATO summit in Prague, this autumn.
Andrei Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/05/24/41647.html
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969