Ukraine leader eager to join the EU and NATO

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President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has launched a symbolic “visa-free timer,” which will count the last 12 hours before the entry into force of the visa-free regime with the European Union.

“The last sound of the countdown will mark the justification of our hopes. It will mark not the fall of the concrete Berlin wall but the paper curtain that had separated Ukrainians from the European family for many years. And when the historic date of June 11 comes, this paper curtain will fall,” the president said during the launch of the symbolic “visa-free timer” near the presidential administration.

According to him, this is not the end of the way, but a powerful continuation of reforms in the country.

“I believe Ukraine will be in NATO, I believe Ukraine will be in the EU and nothing, and nobody will stop us,” he said.

Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli, in turn, added the visa-free regime will facilitate the development of relations between the EU and such a large European country as Ukraine, as well as strengthen contacts between Ukrainians and EU citizens.

NATO has been informed of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada’s decision to codify Kyiv’s course toward entry into the alliance, but has not so far received any official application for membership from the Ukrainian government, Barbora Maronkova, the Director of the NATO Information and Documentation Center in Ukraine, said.

Efforts continue to be made today to implement the decisions adopted at the NATO summit in Warsaw to focus on defense sector reforms and introducing the 2020 Strategic Defense Bulletin as a priority for Ukraine and NATO, Maronkova said at a press conference in Kyiv on Friday when commenting on the Verkhovna Rada’s relevant decision and Ukraine’s chances of becoming a NATO member in general.

It was reported that on June 8, 2017, the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada voted in favor of forging deeper ties with NATO with the aim of gaining membership in this organization as a central goal of Ukraine’s foreign policy. The relevant bill No. 6470, which amends several legislative acts regulating Ukraine’s foreign policy, was supported by 276 deputies during a parliamentary session on Thursday.