KIEV (Sputnik) — Ukraine is not yet ready to become a NATO member state, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated on Monday.
“Is Ukraine ready to become a NATO member? The answer is no. We have to prepare ourselves for that. Is NATO ready to accept Ukraine – no. But I should say that we have to do our best, in order to change Ukraine so that it could become a member of the European Union. Because the criteria is the same,” Poroshenko said during a joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Ukraine has sought to become a member of NATO and the European Union since the pro-Western government came to power in February 2014. However, NATO does not accept countries that have ongoing territorial disputes, such as Ukrainians refusal to recognize Crimea’s succession to join Russia or the conflict in its eastern regions.
On September 2, the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council endorsed a new military doctrine that called for the country to strive for NATO membership. Poroshenko suggested that it could take Ukraine five years to upgrade its military to the required level.