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  • The Ukrainian Supreme Rada

    The Ukrainian Supreme Rada | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 December 2014

The Ukraine parliament voted to change the country's status in the hope of eventually entering NATO.

The Ukrainian Supreme Rada (parliament) renounced the country's allied status on Tuesday, after voting for an amendment which was approved by 303 votes.

“This will lead to integration in the European and the Euro Atlantic space,” Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said.

The amendment was made as a necessary step to enter the NATO military alliance, although it is not clear when Ukraine will apply for membership.

NATO Senior officials and German president Angela Merkel expressed their skepticism in September, when media outlets quoted officials saying it was unlikely that Ukraine would be accepted in the alliance.

However, a NATO spokesperson in Brussels, interviewed by The Guardian, said, “Our door is open and Ukraine will become a member of the military bloc if it so requests and fulfills the standards and adheres to the necessary principles.” 

The Russian government criticized the measure. Moscow has insisted repeatedly that its relationship with Ukraine can improve if Kiev is able to guarantee it will not enter NATO.

“It will only escalate the confrontation and creates the illusion that it is possible to resolve Ukraine’s deep internal crisis by passing such laws,” said Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, in reference to the amendment.

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