Havrysh: Ukraine-NATO cooperation not excluding strategic partnership between Moscow, Kyiv

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May 26, 2010, 12:51 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
The continuation of Ukraine-NATO cooperation does not exclude the development of a strategic partnership with Russia, First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Stepan Havrysh has said, while opening the 8th meeting of the NATO-Ukraine High Level Joint Working Group for Defense Reform on Wednesday. "The issue of cooperation with the alliance continues to be one of the foreign policy priorities for our state," he said, adding that the evidence of this is the intention of the new Ukrainian authorities to abide by all of the agreements earlier reached with NATO.

At the same time, Havrysh said that "Ukraine, while maintaining the dynamics of a political dialog with the alliance, is beginning to strengthen its strategic partnership with Russia." He noted that "the whole world expected a similar rebooting."

"I think that it [the rebooting] will entail charisma in Ukrainian political diplomacy, as well as politics in future," Havrysh said, adding that the issue does not concern a gradual return to Russia's political influence on Ukraine.

"We're focusing on the development of equal relations... The issue concerns a new level of strategic partnership with Russia," he said.

The 8th meeting of the NATO-Ukraine High Level Joint Working Group for Defense Reform is being jointly chaired by Havrysh and NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning Jiri Sedivy.
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