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    Ukraine starts implementing NATO action plan - defense minister - 1

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    KIEV, May 19 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine has begun implementing a plan of action in a bid to join NATO, the country's defense minister said Friday.

    "The Defense Ministry is not waiting for [political] approval of the plan on Ukraine's NATO membership," Anatoliy Hrytsenko said.

    He said Ukraine had been improving its combat readiness, and working on transparency and social protection for military servicemen, which are all steps under the NATO Action Plan.

    Hrytsenko added that the country's attempts to join NATO, the World Trade Organization or the European Union would force the government to make wise decisions.

    Many Russian officials have said that NATO enlargement and the accession of Ukraine and Georgia to the bloc is a sensitive issue for Russia, which would need to spend considerable sums on reorienting its military capabilities.

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