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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg talk in a helicopter on the way to a military training ground outside Lviv, western Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015

    This is the 'Main Risk' Ukraine's Possible Membership in NATO May Entail

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    Ukraine's possible accession to NATO may undermine European security its security and increase the conflict potential in the region, Member of the European Parliament Jiri Mastalka told Sputnik on Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko voiced his plan to hold a referendum on the issue of NATO membership in an interview with German media earlier on Thursday.

    "The main obstacle for the NATO membership of Ukraine and the main risk [it can entail] in my opinion is further escalation of armament and higher risk of potential war conflict in Europe," Mastalka, who is a substitute at the EU parliament’s Delegation for relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, said.

    The Ukrainian leader told Berliner Morgenpost newspaper that he is guided by the views of the Ukrainian nationals, who now support the idea of joining the alliance by more than 50 percent.

    "In my opinion, with the NATO membership the Ukraine will only ‘win’ higher expenses from the state budget and debts as a consequence of fulfillment of the criteria for NATO membership such as necessary army modernization," Mastalka added.

    In December 2014, Ukraine cancelled 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 are met.

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    NATO, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
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