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NATO open to Ukrainian role in missile defense - Rasmussen

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(updated 18:26 28.10.2014)
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Ukraine may also take part in NATO's missile-defense program, as the invitation to join should not be limited to Russia, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Moscow on Wednesday.

Ukraine may also take part in NATO's missile-defense program, as the invitation to join should not be limited to Russia, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Moscow on Wednesday.

"I think this invitation should be open to our Euro-Atlantic partners, so it is also an invitation to Ukraine if Ukraine so wishes," Rasmussen told a RIA Novosti news conference. "We don't exclude that possibility."

He was responding to the question of whether a Ukrainian radar facility in the town of Mukachevo could be integrated into NATO's European missile defense system.

On the prospect of Ukraine's NATO membership he said the Ukrainian government "has slightly changed the Euro-Atlantic orientation of Ukraine, and we fully respect that."

"NATO is a voluntary organization. We don't force any country to become a member of NATO, so it is for Ukraine to decide her future relationship with NATO."

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has vowed to stay out of Western military blocs and build closer ties with Russia.

MOSCOW, November 3 (RIA Novosti)