During a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission in Kyiv, Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine would not hasten membership in the North Atlantic alliance, QHA correspondent reports.
“I want to emphasize once again that it does not mean that we will immediately apply for membership. Absolutely not”, Poroshenko said.
It is necessary to build a real reform program and to intensify efforts to achieve the needing standards, according to the President.
“We need to build a real reform program, a program of our cooperation, to intensify our efforts to achieve the necessary standards, and we need assistance and cooperation with our NATO partners in this activity," Petro Poroshenko said.
At the same time, the President stressed that Ukraine is developing an ambitious program for reforming the defence and security sector with participation of NATO partners. The purpose of these reforms is to achieve compliance with the criteria for membership in the Alliance.
Earlier, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg assured that the Alliance would continue to maintain relations with Ukraine in matters of defence.
Stoltenberg also congratulated Ukraine on behalf of the Alliance with "success in implementation of these reforms despite the extremely difficult circumstances" in the country and called Ukrainian authorities to continue along integration into Europe and NATO.
Since 2014 NATO has "significantly increased" support for Ukraine, as Warsaw Summit confirmed in 2016, when the Alliance approved a comprehensive package of assistance to Kyiv for major reforms in the defence and security sectors.
In February 2017, the President of Ukraine announced the readiness for the referendum on the issue of joining NATO.