Ukraine Drops NATO Membership Aim

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko

From Reuters: Ukraine Thursday formally buried pursuit of NATO membership as an aim, its foreign minister declaring the issue had been taken off the policy agenda.

It was the most clear-cut statement by the new leadership of President Viktor Yanukovich that the issue was a dead letter in Ukraine for the conceivable future.

"Ukraine will continue developing its relations with the alliance, but the question of membership is now being removed from the agenda," the foreign minister, Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying. …

Yanukovich, who came to power in February and has tilted the ex-Soviet republic back toward Moscow in several areas of policy, has made clear NATO membership was being pushed on to the back burner as an objective.

He has equally told Moscow that Ukraine will stick by its policy of staying out of military blocs. He has not responded to an invitation by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to join the Russia-led CSTO security grouping.  (photo: Reuters)

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