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    Ukraine Has Become Significantly Closer to NATO Over 4 Years - Defence Minister

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Kiev has become significantly closer to NATO over the past four years, Ukrainian Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak said.

    Poltorak said that to be accepted into NATO, Ukraine had to complete reforms of its Defence Ministry and of its military administration bodies.

    "All of this will enable us to become even closer and to feel the elbow of our partners with our shoulder. We've become much closer to it… I believe we have become significantly closer", he said in an interview with local TV channel Zik.

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    The minister specified that most NATO members were seeking Ukraine's membership.

    "For four years, I've kept my eye on the climate in NATO headquarters. They were not quite serious [about Ukraine's NATO membership] at first. Then, they were looking at us and wondering how this could be achieved. During our latest meeting most members of the alliance said it was necessary to speed-up Ukraine joining NATO", Poltorak stated.

    Meanwhile, US Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker said on December 21 that neither Ukraine was ready to join NATO, nor had the alliance reached a consensus on accepting the country into its ranks.

    In December 2014, the Ukrainian parliament voted to drop the country's non-aligned status and work toward NATO membership. In June 2017, the parliament defined membership in the alliance as the country's strategic foreign policy goal.

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    military, NATO, Stepan Poltorak, Ukraine
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