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Yanukovych: Ukraine positively evaluates level of relations with NATO

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Sept. 21, 2011, 11 a.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

Viktor Yanukovych met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in New York.
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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in New York, reads a posting on the president's Web site. During the meeting, the sides discussed issues related to international security and the domestic policies of Ukraine.

"We positively evaluate the level we reached in relations with the alliance, their pragmatism and targeting of specific results. We think this is an important key to the continuation of a constructive partnership between Ukraine and NATO," the Ukrainian president said during the meeting.

According to Yanukovych, Ukraine appreciates its partnership with NATO.

"Ukraine appreciates the principles of NATO and the European Union – democracy and the supremacy of law – and we follow them undeviatingly. We are like-minded in this sense," Yanukovych said.

In turn, Rasmussen praised the Ukraine-NATO partnership, in particular, in peacemaking missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

The NATO secretary general invited Ukraine to join NATO's initiatives, in particular, the Operation Ocean Shield (Counter Piracy Operations).

Yanukovych said, "Our national interests and our citizens suffer from pirate attacks. We want to make our contribution to the fight against piracy."

The Ukrainian president instructed the respective ministries to work on the issue together with NATO experts.

Rasmussen also invited Ukraine to participate in the next NATO summit in May 2012 in Chicago.

He also invited Yanukovych to visit the alliance's headquarters and deliver a speech to the NATO Council.
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