President Petro Poroshenko will sign the Law enshrining Ukraine’s course towards NATO membership as a strategic foreign policy priority of the state. The document was adopted by the Parliament on June 8.
“Of course, I will sign it, because this legislative initiative has been coordinated with me,” the Head of State answered the question of journalists during the joint briefing with President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė in Kharkiv.
The President added that the parliamentary coalition has taken active part in the adoption of this Law. “I would like to remind you that it is not an innovation, but a return to the situation when in 2003, the Law on National Security considered NATO membership the key goal,” the Head of State said.
“Criteria to apply for NATO membership are extremely high. By the way, they are almost similar to those of EU membership,” the President said. He added that the reforms conducted to adapt the Ukrainian legislation to the European one are also essential for NATO membership.
The President emphasized that Ukraine has already done a lot. It is confirmed by international organizations and our partners. In particular, the President of Lithuania noted today that over the past 2.5-3 years, our state had achieved much more than over the previous 20 years. However, much work is still to be done, Petro Poroshenko added. “Let’s talk about things Ukraine should do to reform the state for it to meet the criteria necessary for membership,” the President said.
The Head of State reminded that during the sessions in the Parliament and the National Council of Reforms, the attendees pay significant attention to healthcare, education, pension reforms, privatization, improvement of business climate etc. “These are only the first steps that will be made for our move to Europe,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
In her turn, President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė told that during the recent meeting of the leadership of NATO countries, the attendees discussed the issue of opening the “door” for Ukraine and Georgia. “It is clearly envisaged in the preamble of the North Atlantic Treaty that only democratic countries that respect the rule of law and adhere to the human rights can apply for NATO membership,” she said.
Dalia Grybauskaitė also noted that criteria and requirements for NATO and EU membership are similar, particularly they touch upon judicial, prosecution and economic reforms. “All those steps you are already making now. As the Ukrainian President has just said, we are talking about not just the necessity of official application, we are talking about the fulfillment of reforms,” she noted adding that it took 10 years for Lithuania to implement reforms after the application for NATO membership.