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PM: Ukraine Not Ready for NATO Membership

Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has suggested that his country is not ready to join NATO.

"In my opinion, the actual level of development of Ukraine's economy and civil society and its adherence to the North Atlantic Alliance's standards allow neither Ukraine nor NATO to speak about any actual date for Ukraine's entry (into NATO - Interfax)," Yanukovych said at a meeting with Ukrainian Armed Forces officers in Kyiv on Tuesday.

This issue was addressed at NATO's Istanbul summit in late June, the prime minister said, adding that this does not mean that Ukraine is giving up cooperation with NATO.

"In particular, Ukraine is ready to work together with the alliance in disposing of ammunition and small arms, as well as in cooperation in anti-terrorism operations," he said.

Yanukovych is a presidential candidate for Ukraine's upcoming election.

(Interfax 30.vii.04)

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