Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed the program of Ukraine’s cooperation with NATO in 2017, which provides for the development of political dialogue and comprehensive practical cooperation, Poroshenko’s press service said Saturday in a statement.
“President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree ‘On Approving the Annual National Program under the Auspices of the Ukraine-NATO Commission in 2017,'” the statement reads, adding that the program has been significantly updated and improved.
The statement says that the program includes measures on reform implementation in state security, defense and other spheres of major importance, as well as on fighting corruption and decentralization. The aim of these reforms is to advance Ukraine toward NATO standards.
Additionally, the program provides for further development of the political dialogue between Ukraine and NATO, as well as building comprehensive and practical cooperation with NATO in order to “strengthen Ukraine’s defense, and capabilities to counter continued Russian aggression.”
Moreover, NATO’s support for Ukraine is expected to be enhanced through the implementation of the Comprehensive Assistance Package, endorsed during NATO Summit in July, 2016.
In January, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze said this year’s program would be focused on defense and security issues, and Ukraine would be able to use the resources provided by the NATO member countries under the program.
In December 2014, Ukraine canceled its non-aligned status, confirming its intention to join NATO. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said a referendum on NATO membership would be held by 2020.
Despite Kiev’s aspirations to become part of the alliance, NATO officials have repeatedly stressed that the country needs to implement a wide range of reforms before pursuing bloc membership.