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Ukrainian president reaffirms NATO accession goal

RIA Novosti

22/10/2007 13:45 KIEV, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko said Monday he hoped the issue of the country's accession to NATO would be considered at the alliance's summit in April 2008.

Ukraine is currently hosting for the first time a session of the Council of Southeast European Defense Ministers, which is reviewing reports on the activities of the Council's coordinating committee for 2007 and discussing peacekeeping operations of the South East Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG).

"I urge all Ukraine's European partners to support our aspirations to join the action plan on Ukraine's accession to NATO," Yushchenko said addressing the session.

The Ukrainian "orange" coalition, consisting of the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc and the Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense bloc, announced last Thursday that it intended to continue a policy aimed at integration into NATO and the EU.

The September 30 snap parliamentary elections were won by the pro-Russian Party of Regions, which gained 34.32% of the votes, but the two opposition blocs signed an agreement on October 15 to establish a coalition, which gave them 228 seats, two more seats than required for a majority in the 450-seat Supreme Rada.

The 20th NATO Summit will be held in Bucharest, Romania in early April, 2008.

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