00:21 GMT06 May 2021
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    On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree to approve the country’s new national security strategy, which mentions Kiev’s plans to join NATO.

    Ukraine is unlikely to join NATO in the nearest future as the country is not ready for the membership in the alliance and has more important issues to deal with, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General Jamie Shea said on Wednesday.

    He stressed that NATO will continue its cooperation with Ukraine and help the country to overcome “democratic challenges.” However, cooperation between NATO and Ukraine does not mean that Ukraine is ready for membership in the Alliance.

    "We agreed that Ukraine is not ready yet [to join NATO] and that there are more urgent priorities regarding the resolution of the situation in the east, as well as reforms in many areas,” Shea said following the discussion on partnership between NATO and Kiev as quoted by Ukraine's Unian news agency.

    The NATO official also stated that the Minsk Agreement is not perfect, but that it is the best option to solve the current crisis.

    Despite Kiev's aspirations to become part of the alliance, NATO officials have repeatedly denied the short-term prospects of the war-torn country to join the bloc.

    NATO regulations do not allow countries involved in ongoing territorial disputes to become members.

    Related:

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    Finns Ready to Spend More on Defense, but Reject NATO Membership – Poll
    Tags:
    NATO, NATO membership, Jamie Shea, Ukraine
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