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    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (at the left) and the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko at a press conference in the International center of peacemaking and safety on the Yavorivsky ground

    Donetsk Republic Vows Response if Kiev Starts Preparations to Join NATO

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    The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) will back out of the Minsk agreements if Kiev begins procedures to join NATO, DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko said Wednesday.

    DONETSK (Sputnik) – The DPR leader added that Kiev's renewed push to put Ukraine on the path toward NATO membership was directed at destroying the Minsk agreements.

    “[Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko and his representative at the Minsk reconciliation talks [former Ukrainian President Leonid] Kuchma’s statement that Ukraine needs to join NATO is directed at destroying the Minsk agreements. If Ukraine begins preparing a referendum on joining NATO or any other procedure, then the DPR will immediately back out of the Minsk agreements and begin to cleanse the Kiev-occupied territories of Donbass,” Zakharchenko was quoted as saying by the Donetsk News Agency.

    On Tuesday, Ukraine and NATO signed a joint declaration to intensify military technical cooperation.

    President Poroshenko said earlier he would initiate the process of joining the US-led military bloc if the move was backed by a majority vote, and as soon as the country implemented all necessary reforms. Ukraine dropped its non-aligned status last year, opening the way for NATO membership and drawing criticism from Russia and many other states.

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    NATO, Minsk agreement, Alexander Zakharchenko, Donetsk, Ukraine
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