Sarkozy: 'It Would Be a Mistake to Integrate Ukraine Into NATO, Europe'

© Sputnik / Vitaliy Belousov / Go to the photo bankIndependence Square in Kiev
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Nicolas Sarkozy said he always believed "it would be a mistake to integrate Ukraine into NATO, integrate Ukraine into Europe."

ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — Integrating Ukraine into NATO would be a mistake, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday.

"Ukraine cannot choose one or the other to be its partner. Ukraine is a friend of Russia and should be a friend of Europe. This is why I always believed that it would be a mistake to integrate Ukraine into NATO, integrate Ukraine into Europe," Sarkozy said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

In 2014, Ukraine dropped its non-aligned status, opening the way for NATO membership and drawing criticism from Russia and many other states. In September 2015, Ukraine's leader Petro Poroshenko signed a new military doctrine, stipulating the need for the country's armed forces to match NATO standards by 2020.

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