Ukraine secretly ramps up ties with NATO: report

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Feb. 24, 2011.

From AFP:  Ukraine is ramping up cooperation with NATO, dealing a blow to Moscow’s hopes that its neighbour would align itself closer to Russia under President Viktor Yanukovych, a report said on Tuesday.

The Kommersant daily, citing a confidential document outlining cooperation between Ukraine and the military bloc for the current year, said Yanukovych sought closer ties with NATO even more stoutly than his openly pro-Western predecessor Viktor Yushchenko.

The dramatic turnabout in Kiev’s foreign policy comes despite Ukraine last year cementing in law its non-aligned status and amid disappointment over terms and conditions of rapprochement with the Kremlin, it said.

The confidential document approved earlier this year includes a schedule of 64 bilateral events, said the newspaper, adding that the two sides were set to discuss such sensitive issues like Ukraine’s energy security, missile defence, and the future of Russia’s Black Sea fleet based in Crimea. . . .

"Moscow wants us to be in its orbit and pay for that too," a high-ranking source in the Ukrainian government told Kommersant. "It’s not us who are pulling away from Russia. She is pushing us away."  (photo: AP)


Image: ap%202%2024%2011%20Rasmussen%20Yanukovych.jpg