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Obama Statement on Ukraine's Commitment to Join NATO

Monday, January 28, 2008

CONTACT: Michael Ortiz, 202 228 5566

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today released the following statement on Ukraine's readiness to advance a Membership Action Plan (MAP) with NATO:

"I welcome the decision by President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and Parliament Chairman Arseny Yatsenyuk to declare Ukraine's readiness to advance a Membership Action Plan (MAP) with NATO.

"The extension of NATO membership to new democracies in Europe has helped create a zone of peace and prosperity across Europe and enhanced NATO's military capability by facilitating contributions from new members. I therefore applaud the Ukrainian leaders' commitment to deepening the democratic reforms required of all NATO members and to undertaking new responsibilities in their relationship with the Alliance. The Ukrainian leadership's determination to foster national unity and consult the Ukrainian people on the question of Ukraine's future in NATO demonstrates the importance they place on national unity and open, democratic debate.

"NATO's upcoming summit in Bucharest in April 2008 is a critical opportunity to continue to build the Europe "whole and free" that has been the goal of all recent U.S. presidents. I call on President Bush and all of NATO's leaders to seize that opportunity."