7 Nov 2017 12:14

Kyiv may apply for NATO Membership Action Plan in 2020

KYIV. Nov 7 (Interfax) - Ukraine may apply for NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP) in 2020 after it reaches NATO standards through reforms, the head of the Ukrainian Mission to the North Atlantic Alliance, Vadym Prystaiko, said.

"There are a variety of approaches to this process, especially about when is the best time to do it. Should the application be filed after we achieve some results, say, in 2020, which we view as the stage when Ukraine will comply with NATO standards and be able to demonstrate its progress in multiple areas, above all, defense? There is an idea that we should seize this moment. It would be a convenient occasion to say: see, we have kept our promise," Prystaiko said in an interview with the Ukrainian government's weekly publication, Uryadovi Kurier, released on Tuesday.

The dialogue has actually begun, Prystaiko said. "Since the moment of my first conversation with the alliance's secretary general, when I delivered a letter from the Ukrainian president, we have been saying that our primary political objective is to become a member of NATO. However, that will require starting a dialogue, receiving a Membership Action Plan, and bringing it to life," he said.

Ukraine has been implementing national cooperation programs with NATO for ten years; these programs "meet the expectations of the allies in the context of the MAP" and are annually adjusted, Prystaiko said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed Prystaiko head of the Ukrainian Mission to NATO on July 7. In that connection, he was relieved of his duties as first deputy foreign minister on September 27.