21:46 GMT26 January 2020
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    Ukraine has no immediate plans of joining NATO and will instead focus on implementing much-needed reforms, President Petro Poroshenko said.

    “I don’t think it makes any sense discussing this matter right now… It’s not a top priority for us. We should concentrate on reforms, do our homework here,” Petro Poroshenko said in comments carried on Monday by the German daily newspaper Bild. He added that the issue of the country’s NATO membership would be put to a nationwide referendum.

    Saying that Ukraine was getting “non-lethal arms and military-technical support” from eleven European nations, the Ukrainian leader then called to boycott the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

    “As long as Russian military units remain on Ukrainian territory, holding the World Cup there is absolutely unthinkable,” Poroshenko said. He also criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her intention to visit Russia on May 10.  

    Poroshenko, now on an official visit in Germany, is scheduled to meet on Monday with Merkel, President Joachim Gauck and parliamentary speaker Norbert Lammert.

    According to government spokesman Steffen Seibert the consultations with Angela Merkel will focus on the implementation of the Minsk peace accords and Ukrainian reforms.

    The Kiev authorities, along with the US and EU, have accused Russia of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

    Russia has denied the charge arguing that it is not party to its neighboring country’s internal conflict, is in no way involved in what is going on in Donbas and seeks an early end to Ukraine’s political and economic crisis.


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    NATO, policy, army, Ukrainian army, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
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