Clinton Suggests in Kiev Ukraine Could Still Join NATO

World | July 2, 2010, Friday // 15:14|  views

US State Secretary Hillary Clinton has suggested Ukraine could still seek NATO membership. Photo by BGNES

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told Ukrainian officials in Kiev that the “door to NATO membership remains open.”

The Ukrainian capital is the first stop of a five-nation Eastern European tour of Clinton including Poland, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia.

"Ukraine is a sovereign and independent country that has the right to choose its own alliances and NATO's door remains open. But it's up to Ukraine to decide whether or not you wish to pursue that or any other course for your own security interest," Clinton told her Ukrainian counterpart Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, as cited by BGNES.

Her message comes several weeks after Ukraine under the leadership of its new President Viktor Yanukovich adopted a foreign and domestic policy priorities law that steers clear of NATO membership. Yanukovich has largely reversed the pro-NATO and anti-Russian stand of his predecessor Viktor Yushchenko.

Speaking in Kiev Friday, Clinton has made it clear that the US would not seek to force Ukraine into NATO but that Ukraine should consider its own security interests.

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Tags: Ukraine, NATO, NATO accession, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, Viktor Yanukovich


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