Poroshenko Will Call NATO Membership Referendum in Ukraine

World » UKRAINE | February 2, 2017, Thursday // 11:34
Bulgaria: Poroshenko Will Call NATO Membership Referendum in Ukraine Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. File photo, EPA/BGNES

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has told a German newspaper he considers calling a referendum on whether his country should join NATO.

In an interview with German daily Berliner Morgenpost, he has said the will of Ukrainians must be taken into account, citing an increase in support among Ukrainians for joining the alliance.

"Four years ago, 16% backed entering NATO, while now 54% do. If Ukrainians vote for it, I will do everything to achieve NATO membership," he is quoted as saying.

Asked whether joining NATO is a "realistic goal", he has said what matters to him are the preferences of the Ukrainian people.

Poroshenko has also advised against lifting sanctions on Russia, calling such a move "dangerous", when asked to comment on US President Donald Trump's suggestion restrictive measures on Moscow should be revoked.

"A premature waiver of the sanctions would toughen Russia's aggression in Ukraine - and put the whole of Europe in danger," he argues [DE].

"Who knows were Putin would rush to help another Russian minority? The Baltics, Bulgaria? Or maybe in Germany?"

The interview follows a meeting between Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

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Tags: Petro Poroshenko, Russia, sanctions, NATO
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