In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Yanukovych orders halt to NATO ascension plans

Posted by seumasach on April 5, 2010


5th April, 2010

Ukraine’s newly-inaugurated President Viktor Yanukovych has reportedly revoked a 2006 executive order for eventual NATO membership, a sore point in relations with neighboring Russia.

Russian media reports said that the president signed a decree dissolving a government commission tasked with preparing the country for NATO ascension.

The president, who was inaugurated in February, spent Easter Monday in Moscow in his second trip to the country in a month.

Both governments said the visit was private but could include talks with Medvedev on gas transit and bilateral ties.

“These will be purely personal Easter meetings. Possibly, an Easter lunch, a friendly talk,” Yanukovych’s deputy chief of staff Anna German was quoted by AFP as saying.

Yanukovych, who seems keen on restoring good relations with Russia, says Moscow is a natural ally and that it is imperative that Ukraine maintain the best relations with Kremlin.

His predecessor, Viktor Yushchenko, was an outspoken supporter of Ukraine’s NATO membership and even compared its importance as “synonymous” to the country’s independence.

Russia says that Kiev’s NATO participation would directly threaten its national security and has warned the alliance against eastern expansion in ex-Soviet states.

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