Kiev no Longer ‘Non-Aligned’

  • Ukraine’s President signed a bill on 29.12.2014 dropping his nation’s non-aligned status
  • But he signalled that he will hold a referendum before seeking NATO membership.
  • Using a news conference to sign the legislation, which Parliament had adopted  Petro Poroshenko vowed to reform Ukraine’s economy and military forces to meet European Union (EU) and NATO standards.
  • Mr. Poroshenko saidthat this will likely happen in the next five to six years.
  • While public support for joining the alliance has swelled after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March and a pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine, prospects for NATO membership in the near term appear dim.
  • With its long-underfunded military suffering from the war with the separatists and the country’s economy in peril, Ukraine has much to overcome to achieve the stability that the alliance seeks in its members.
  • Mr. Poroshenko said he is planning to meet with leaders of Russia, Germany and France in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana to discuss a peace settlement for eastern Ukraine.
  • Representatives of Ukraine and the rebels agreed on a ceasefire in September, but it has been frequently violated as the parties have failed to reach a deal on a line of division to create a buffer zone.