02:28 GMT21 June 2021
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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko demands punishment for those responsible for securing Ukraine’s non-aligned status.

    “We will be building up our country’s defenses and we cancelled this shameful non-aligned status… Those who advocated it must answer for that because, together with those who ruined our armed forces, they critically undermined this country’s security, which is something our entire nation is now paying for,” Poroshenko told a security forum in Kiev on Thursday.

    Speaking about Ukraine’s future, the President vowed to push ahead with the much-touted program of “deoligarchization, demonopolization and deregulation” that must be implemented to improve the country’s investment climate.

    “We will be building an independent Ukraine… which will meet the key criteria for EU accession,” Poroshenko added.

    The Ukraine-NATO cooperation roadmap calls for upgrading the country’s communications network, bringing the armed forces into line with NATO standards, retraining and social adaptation of Ukrainian military personnel, physical rehabilitation of wounded soldiers, military logistics and standards, cyber security, etc. 

    NATO ex-Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen earlier warned that it was too early to say how long it might take for Ukraine to join the alliance.

    Formal Ukrainian membership of the Western military alliance would come with the full protection of a mutual defense pact with the US, but negotiations to join the alliance can take years as potential members have to meet a series of political and military criteria.

    Besides, NATO’s Charter prohibits it from accepting new members who have territorial disputes. Ukraine is laying claims to Crimea which reunited with Russia following a region-wide referendum held in March 2014.

    Experts insist that Ukraine may take at least another twenty years to apply for membership of the Western defense alliance.


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