Ukraine's parliament votes in favor of non-alignment bill

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Ukraine's parliament, the Supreme Rada, passed late on Thursday night in the final reading a bill that stipulates Ukraine's status of non-alignment with international blocs.

Ukraine's parliament, the Supreme Rada, passed late on Thursday night in the final reading a bill that stipulates Ukraine's status of non-alignment with international blocs.

259 of the total 279 registered lawmakersthem voted in support of the draft law.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who entered office in February, has made it clear he intends to drop his predecessor's plans to seek NATO membership.

It has been suggested that this is another move to appease Russia, which was heatedly opposed to Ukraine's attempts at NATO membership; however, Yanukovych has indicated that he will try to maintain good ties with both Moscow and the West.

According to opinion polls, over 50% of Ukrainians are against NATO membership, and 30% are in favor of joining.

In May, Ukraine said it would not join the post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

 

KIEV, July 2 (RIA Novosti)

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