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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wipes his brow during a press conference with his German and French counterparts following talks at the chancellery in Berlin on August 24, 2015

    Referendum on NATO Accession Would Mean Kiev Surrendering Donbass - DPR

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    A referendum on Ukraine's accession to NATO would mean Kiev's ultimate renunciation of Donbass as the region is against joining the alliance, self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) leader Alexander Zakharchenko said Thursday.

    DONETSK (Sputnik) — In a recent interview with German daily Berliner Morgenpost, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he intended to hold a referendum on the country's accession to NATO.

    "An attempt to hold a referendum on Ukraine's accession to NATO means Kiev is ultimately surrendering Donbass. First, because Donbass will not be able to participate in the referendum… Second, we have repeatedly said that one of the most important demands of Donbass is that Donbass calls for friendly and allied relations with Russia and, therefore, against NATO," Zakharchenko told Sputnik.

    In December 2014, Ukraine canceled its non-aligned status, confirming its intention to join NATO. Poroshenko said a referendum on NATO membership would be held by 2020, after all NATO requirements have been met.

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    NATO, Alexander Zakharchenko, Petro Poroshenko, Donbass, Ukraine
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