UKRAINE LOOKS TO IRON OUT DIFFERENCES WITH NATO.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 92
As initial reports seemed to suggest (see Monitor, May 8), NATO secretary-general Javier Solana’s May 7 visit to Kiev was marked by differences over the framework of NATO-Ukraine cooperation. The draft special partnership agreement, handed over by Solana in Kiev, "leaves a lot to improve" and contains "very many points that require additional negotiation," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s analysis and planning department chief, Ihor Kharchenko, stated yesterday. One "key matter" is whether the agreement will contain merely political or both political and legal provisions, Kharchenko said. Foreign Minister Hennady Udovenko declined to list points of difference, but predicted that drafting of the agreement will continue all the way through July 9, the planned date of its signing.
Kiev is concerned that NATO may dilute the content of the agreement with Ukraine in order to conciliate Russia in the runup to the Madrid summit, at which several countries are to be admitted to the alliance. In the Ukrainian parliament yesterday, the Constitutional Center group of deputies, which supports President Leonid Kuchma, issued a statement of "concern over the Russian leadership’s attempts to impose its own conditions upon NATO, disdaining the interests of third countries." Moscow’s position stems from "Russia’s traditional view of East-Central Europe as a zone of its influence," the statement said. It added that NATO’s enlargement eastward would mean "enlarging the zone of stability and democracy… [and] limiting Russia’s opportunities to dominate the post-Soviet space." (Interfax-Ukraine, May 8)
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