World Bulletin / News Desk
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said that NATO membership must be incorporated into the country's national security plan.
"Our security strategy must ensure the opportunity of NATO membership in the future. We must finally return this important component to the given document,” the head of state said Wednesday at a meeting of The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, which is holding discussions regarding the draft National Security Strategy and additional measures on ensuring the defense capacity of the state.
Poroshenko said the goal of the draft strategy was to effectively guarantee the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and that cooperation with NATO and commitment to the common security and defense policy of the EU were the main idea of the document, which should help ensure the compatibility of Ukraine’s defense and security sector with that of NATO allies.
Poroshenko also said that the increased threat of large-scale hostilities by pro-Russian groups requires additional measures to ensure the defense of the state including "operative regrouping of troops, specification of tasks on the fifth wave of mobilization, and improvement of anti-airborne and counter-sabotage defense of Mariupol, Berdyansk and the entire Azov coast."
“There is convincing evidence that Ukraine strictly complies with the Minsk agreements and militants constantly violate them,” Poroshenko said, adding that armed forces did not allow international observers to verify their withdrawal of heavy weaponry.
“Militants regularly shoot Ukrainian positions, engage in reconnaissance and subversive activity and provoke armed confrontations in order to disrupt the peaceful settlement of the conflict,” he said.
The Feb. 12 Minsk ceasefire agreement includes the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from combat areas, and of all foreign-armed formations, release of all hostages and unlawfully detained persons, as well as political reforms and decentralization in the eastern Ukrainian regions.
At least five Ukrainian soldiers were killed in clashes with pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, Ukraine's spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council, Andrey Lysenko said Wednesday.
Lysenko said that 12 troops were also wounded in the clashes and an explosion, claiming pro-Russians had violated the ceasefire agreement 42 times in the last 24 hours.
The situation in the Donetsk and Mariupol regions was very tense and clashes were continuing, he added.
More than 6,000 people have lost their lives in the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists since April 2014, according to the U.N.
Poroshenko had said in late April that joining NATO was one of the fundamental issues of Ukraine, which would be decided by a nationwide referendum.Last Mod: 07 Mayıs 2015, 13:14