Poroshenko says staying out of NATO was 'criminal policy'

Ukrainian President expresses his wish to join NATO, saying it was 'criminal policy' to stay out

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Ukrainian President Poroshenko speaks to participants during the opening ceremony of the joint disaster management exercises between Ukraine and NATO countries at the International Center of Peacekeeping and Security in Yavoriv

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said on Tuesday that his government wishes to join the NATO. He said more than half of Ukrainians supporting NATO membership and that support is increasing. Therefore staying out of the NATO allience was a “criminal” policy that Ukraine sticked for years and his government is ready to fix it.

"The Euro-Atlantic choice with the prospect of joining NATO is gaining extremely important support in Ukrainian society. Two years ago, the Euro-Atlantic integration was supported by 16% of Ukrainians. One year ago their number was reaching 50%. Right now, the number of Ukrainians supporting Euro-Atlantic integration already exceeds 60%," Poroshenko said.

"The decision on the non-alliance policy which was announced by the previous government is criminal in terms of security and strategic interests of our state." 

He told if Ukraine join the NATO allience in future, the decision would be subject to a popular vote, in a meeting of Ukraine’s security council that he chaired with the NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Ukraine President Poroshenko and NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg chat as they attend a signing ceremony in Kiev.

On the other hand, NATO is expecting Ukraine to enact political, social and military reforms in order to consider the membership of the country.

NATO’s Stoltenberg praised Ukrainian government for following the Minsk cease-fire agreements. He said that the NATO has been providing Kiev political and practical support and added “Ukraine can rely on NATO.”

Ukrainian president said the growing support for NATO membership is the result of Russian agression against Ukraine.

The Ukrainian conflict will be discussed in a summit by Russian, German, French and Ukrainian leaders in less than two weeks in Paris.

Poroshenko said he would discuss to send peacekeepers to the conflicted area of Ukraine with UN world leaders but he is hopeful that the lasting cease-fire would make it unnecessary.


TRTWorld and agencies