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    US National Security Council spokesperson Mark Stroh claims Decision on Ukraine's potential NATO membership should be made without outside interference.

    WASHINGTON, November 20 (Sputnik) — Decision on Ukraine's potential NATO membership should be made by the country and the organization, without outside interference, US National Security Council spokesperson Mark Stroh has told Sputnik.

    ''Any decision on potential NATO membership for Ukraine is one for NATO and Ukraine, and the United States supports the right of Ukrainians to make their own decisions about the future of their country free from any outside interference,'' Stroh said Wednesday.

    The spokesperson added that NATO membership for Ukraine ''is not under consideration by the Alliance at this time, nor has Ukraine made such a request''.

    Since the beginning of the crisis in southeastern Ukraine, the country has been striving for closer cooperation with NATO. In September, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivered a speech to the US Congress claiming that Ukraine needed strong US support, including a special status within NATO.

    US President Barack Obama declined to give Ukraine a special status of a non-NATO ally.

    Meanwhile NATO has been placing additional forces in the Baltic region after a political crisis erupted in Ukraine in February and Crimea reunified with Russia in March.

    Moscow has expressed concern over increased NATO presence along Russia's eastern border, stressing that it could undermine the strategic balance in the world.


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