Ukraine, NATO agree to strengthen cooperation

08:55, February 25, 2011      

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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych met here Thursday with visiting NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the two sides agreed to strengthen their practical cooperation.

"I appreciate your visit and I am grateful to you that the relationship between Ukraine and NATO is mutually helpful and respectful," Yanukovych said during talks with Rasmussen.

Rasmussen, for his part, wished Yanukovych success in his reform efforts, saying NATO is ready to assist Kiev in carrying out its military upgrades. He noted that NATO respects Ukraine's non-aligned position.

The NATO chief said the alliance intends to work with Ukraine in different fields, such as naval and energy security and cyber protection.

Rasmussen also met with Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryschenko, saying that political developments in Ukraine haven't affected cooperation between Kiev and NATO.

Rasmussen said the two sides discussed bilateral cooperation in building a missile defense system.

"Ukraine is interested in collaboration with NATO in this case," he said.

He stressed that the partnership with NATO involves further dialogue on the issues related to democracy, human rights and the rule of law, all principles supported by the alliance.

Source: Xinhua

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