Ukraine Turns to NATO

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Leonid Kuchma

Thursday, Jun. 20, 2002
On 23 May, days before Russia gained partial membership in NATO, Ukraine dropped its longtime neutrality and said it would seek to become a full member of NATO. "Sticking to a nonaligned policy or neutrality holds no promise," announced Yevhen Marchuk, secretary of the Ukrainian national security and defense council, which brings together Ukraine's top policymakers and is chaired by President Leonid Kuchma.

The announcement, made after a meeting of the council on 26 May, caused a sensation, with even domestic observers initially refusing to take it seriously. Ukraine, after all, had balanced between...