7 Sep 2017 13:34

Ukraine unilaterally implementing NATO Membership Action Plan - Poroshenko

KYIV. Sept 7 (Interfax) - Ukraine is already implementing the NATO Membership Action Plan unilaterally and might hold a nationwide referendum on NATO membership, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.

"Without formal approval of a Membership Action Plan, we are nevertheless implementing it unilaterally," Poroshenko said in an annual address at the Verkhovna Rada on Thursday.

Along with its NATO partners, Ukraine is developing its armed forces in keeping with the NATO standards, "which it should basically achieve by the end of 2020," he said.

"I am sure the army that will be the first state institution to meet the alliance's membership criteria," he said.

Public opinion polls have shown that most Ukrainians support Ukraine's accession both to the European Union and to NATO, he said.

"I do not rule out initiating a corresponding referendum in due course so as to demonstrate the Ukrainian people's will to everybody, including our friends, our aggressive neighbor, and all Ukrainian politicians," Poroshenko said. "So that none of them would want to revise this course and turn back, no matter what the political setup," he said.