Arseniy Yatsenyuk: Ukrainians should vote on joining NATO after the necessary reforms have been completed

26 March 2015, 13:28

“After we carry out the reforms, the people of Ukraine should decide in a referendum on Ukraine's membership in NATO. And the Alliance shall get another member committed to protect freedom and democracy against the aggressors with the free world” – stated the Prime-Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Wednesday, March 25, during  the 3rd Youth Kyiv Security Forum organized by Open Ukraine Foundation. 

“It is because in 2008 in Bucharest Ukraine didn’t get the opportunity to sign the Ukraine-NATO Membership Action Plan, because the Russian military aggression against Georgia has not received an adequate response, because over the last decade the Alliance and our western partners were a little bit blind and deaf towards Russia and the billions of dollars spent on the Russian defense, we have lost Crimea and got Russian troops and Russian tanks in the territory of Ukraine. We lost six thousand lives because of the imperial ambitions of Russia and its senior management that still cannot realize that one has to learn how to live peacefully in the world and internal Russian problems cannot be solved in the same way as the Soviet Union did – by means of external aggression,” – the Head of government stressed.

He noted that he is consistent on this issue and recalled that that in 2008 as a Head of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine signed an appeal on joining to the Ukraine-NATO Membership Action Plan: “I want to confirm: I believe that Ukraine should become a part of Euro-Atlantic security architecture. I believe that today Ukraine fights for peace and security in Europe, as Russia threatens Ukraine, the European Union and the members of the Alliance. And inadequate, aggressive military policy of Russia is a violation of international law and international order.”

The Prime Minister said that the West does not fully welcome such a position: “With all due respect to our partners, the position of Ukraine should be based on its interest. At this stage our interest is a strong and upgraded Ukrainian army that needs help. We defend the borders of the European Union from Russian aggression”.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk stressed that now it is necessary “to do everything in order to prevent possible Russian aggression go further and to pass 2015 following the present reformation plan without delays, to stabilize the financial system”: “With the help of allocations from international financial institutions we made an injection to launch economic mechanisms. I expect 2016 to become the first year of growth for the country”. 

“Ceasing the aggression and carrying out reforms in 2015 and 2016 will become the first year of gradual growth”, he said.

“If few years ago the issue of membership of Ukraine in NATO was not on our agenda, my political position is that now it’s on our agenda. After we carry out the reforms, the people of Ukraine should decide in a referendum on Ukraine's membership in NATO. And the Alliance shall get another member committed to protect freedom and democracy against the aggressors with the free world,” – underlined Arseniy Yatsenyuk. 

For your information:

The Youth Kyiv Security Forum is a new initiative of the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation, which aims at creation of a discussion platform for young experts from different countries on important issues of international relations and foreign policy. The main goal of the Forum is to empower the new generation by increasing their capacity to participate in policy analyses and policy development processes.

The Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation is a non-governmental organization aimed at facilitating the development  of public diplomacy and international cooperation with Ukraine.