Kostiantyn Hryschenko: Ukraine will not join Collective Security Treaty Organization

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May 28, 2010, 5:01 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine
Ukraine does not plan to become a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryschenko told the 2000 newspaper. Ukraine has not and cannot be invited to join the CSTO because it "has made it absolutely clear that it is opposed to membership in any blocs," Hryschenko said.

"Furthermore, the CSTO is too far away from us. The center of this organization is located somewhere in the south, in Central Asia," the minister said.

"The declaration of our opposition to membership in any blocs, as well as our decision to abandon plans to join NATO open up new opportunities to promote partnership and good neighborhood relations with Russia," he said.

Ukraine is interested only in processes that can benefit it, Hryschenko said.

"If we do not see any benefit, we can minimize or stop contacts. But one should remember that it is necessary to look for interests on all continents within the global economy. Otherwise, someone else will find them, and we will lose," the minister said.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said in Luhansk on May 20 that Ukraine would refrain from joining any blocs and would help build Europe's security system as a neutral state.

However, Hryschenko said earlier this week that Ukraine would continue promoting relations with NATO, but would not seek to join the alliance.

President Yanukovych said in Lviv on May 27 that "accession to NATO is unrealistic for our country today because, by NATO's criteria, this step must be supported by the majority of the population."
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