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NATO secretary general to discuss Ukraine's membership bid in Ukraine

RIA Novosti

03/06/2008 19:19 KIEV, June 3 (RIA Novosti) - NATO's secretary general will discuss Ukraine's bid to join the alliance's Membership Action Plan (MAP) at a North Atlantic Council meeting in Kiev on June 16-17, a deputy head of the presidential secretariat said on Tuesday.

At a summit in Bucharest in April, NATO members decided to postpone offering Ukraine, along with Georgia, membership of MAP, but promised to review the decision in December.

The ex-Soviet republics had received strong U.S. backing for their bids. However, France and Germany were reluctant to push ahead with NATO's further eastward expansion and antagonize Russia, which had spoken out against the move.

The Kremlin threatened in February to target missiles at Ukraine if Kiev joins NATO and allows Western military facilities on its territory.

"The chief goal is that the council and secretary general assess the state of our implementation of the target plan Ukraine-NATO, so that we get a positive answer at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in December," Oleksandr Chaly said.

A poll conducted in April by the FOM-Ukraina pollster showed a majority of Ukrainians are against their country joining NATO.

The poll revealed that 54.9% of respondents would vote against joining the military alliance if a referendum were to be held tomorrow, and that 22.3% would back joining NATO.



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