Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Ukrainians stand strongly against NATO membership

The Ukrainians do not support the idea for their nation to become a NATO member, a recent opinion poll showed. Almost 35 percent of the Ukrainians stand strongly against such membership, whereas 11.1 percent of the polled say that Ukraine should become a member of the alliance. The research was held from February 27 to March 8 of this year in all regions of Ukraine among 2,500 respondents.

The issue of Ukraine’s NATO membership raises heated debate in the nation. The Party of Regions and the Communist Party in Ukraine blocked the work of the national parliament for almost a month claiming a national referendum should be held regarding Ukraine’s NATO Membership Action Plan. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko positively estimates the nation’s perspectives in NATO.

The issue will be raised at the NATO summit in Bucharest in April. US President Bush supports Ukraine and Georgia’s participation in the plan. Bush will visit Kiev on April 1 on the threshold of the summit to have official meetings with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko.

The United States said on Monday possible membership for Ukraine and Georgia will be decided by all members of the organization but not by the United States.

"In terms of what NATO decisions will be taken, obviously that's something that's not determined by the United States but by all of the members of NATO," State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said at a briefing.

"But certainly those decisions will be made based on whether countries have met the qualifications and criteria, either for membership, in some cases, or to engage in a closer relationship through a membership action plan, and others," Casey said.

Ukraine ’s intentions to become a member of NATO raise serious concerns with Russia. The Russian administration believes that the expansion of NATO is another effort of Washington to build the unipolar world.

Prepared by Dmitry Sudakov