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Poroshenko mulls referendum on Ukraine's accession to NATO

The president noted a change in the attitude of Ukrainians to the alliance.

Poroshenko mulls referendum on Ukraine's accession to NATO
Photo: Photo: presidential press service

President Petro Poroshenko is going to announce a referendum on Ukraine's accession to NATO. However he did not when it is going to be held.

In an interview with Berliner Morgenpost, Poroshenko said that "one cannot do without NATO," and said that if Ukrainians vote for the country's accession to the alliance, he will make every effort to make it possible.

"As president, I heed the opinion of my people. I will hold a referendum on Ukraine's prospect of NATO membership," Poroshenko said.

He noted that whereas four years ago only 16 per cent of Ukrainians wanted the country to join the alliance, now this figure stands 54 per cent.

Poroshenko said he is proud to be the president of the country where over 70 per cent of people support the EU.

"In the times of Brexit and right-wing populists, it is impressive," he said. The president believes that Ukraine is on the right track to fulfil all the conditions required to join the EU. Poroshenko believes that Europe "should understand that it will be more secure, more reliable and more happy with Ukraine."

The president expressed an opinion that the EU should oppose the right-wing populism, counteract propaganda, including that coming from Russia. He suggested that it would be the right step to establish, with the participation of a number of countries, a Russian-language TV channel for the EU. In this case, European voters, who were born in the Soviet Union, will no longer be under the influence of "propaganda broadcasters", having an alternative source of information.

Poroshenko called both on Angela Merkel and her rival for the post of chancellor, Martin Schulz, "brilliant" politicians. "I will respect the choice of the German people as long as they do not vote for populists," Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko met Merkel during his visit to Germany on 30 January.

Poroshenko said a referendum on Ukraine's accession to NATO is necessary in November 2014. He noted that it would be held when Ukraine adopts NATO standards.

In June 2015, Poroshenko said that a referendum on Ukraine's accession to NATO could be held in six to seven years.