Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ukraine rejects Russian pressure to prevent NATO entry

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday rejected Russian pressure to prevent his country from joining NATO.

"It is essential to turn down blackmailing and threatening vocabulary," he told the UN General Assembly here.

"Ukraine rejects pressure of any kind regarding ways to ensure its own security and to determine membership in collective security structures," he added. "Such attempts of infringement are short-sighted and counter-productive."

Without ever naming Russia, Yushchenko also condemned "all acts of aggression and the use of force that occurred in the region."

He was apparently referring to both Georgia's recent offensive against separatists in its breakaway enclave of South Ossetia and the ensuing Russian military intervention there to dislodge Georgian troops.

"Ukraine vigorously denounces the violation of the territorial integrity and inviolability of the Georgian borders and armed annexation of its territory," the Ukrainian leader said.

"Ukraine does not recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia (and) condemns the endeavor of the illegitimate and separatist affirmation of the statehood of any territories," he added.

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Source: AFP

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