13:07 PM Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Ukraine’s Path to NATO is Complicated by Close Ties to China
Kiev passed a new law that aims to push the country closer to Europe and Nato membership. But are deepening ties with Beijing – Moscow’s close military ally – pulling the country in a different direction?
image/svg+xml Kyiv Lutsk Rivne Zhytomyr Lviv Ternopil Khmelnytskyi Uzhgorod Chernivtsi Vinnytsia Chernigiv Sumy Kharkiv Poltava Cherkasy Kirovohrad Lugansk Dnipropetrovsk Donetsk Zaporizhzhia Mykolaiv Odesa Kherson Simferopol Sevastopol Ivano- Frankivsk

By Jack Laurenson

KYIV – On June 21, a new Law on National Security passed by Ukraine's lawmakers was welcomed here as a strong step on the country's path to Euro-Atlantic integration and eventual membership of the NATO alliance.

President Petro Poroshenko said that the legislation will improve military-technical cooperation between Ukraine and NATO and reaffirms the country's strategic pivot to the West. His government now plans to consolidate the law within Ukraine's constitution.

“The idea of Ukraine joining NATO has a very strong base of popular and political support,” said Ukrainian member of parliament Svitlana Zalishchuk in an interview.

“Because of our country's security challenges, joining this alliance is even more popular than the idea of EU membership right now. For the first time we see president, prime minister and a majority in parliament all agreeing that it's the right path.”

But as politicians and the public reaffirm their commitment to membership of the Euro-Atlantic alliance, some observers point to a challenge on the horizon: Ukraine has also become an important strategic partner for China.

Since the outbreak of war with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Donbas in 2014, Kiev has simultaneously sought to build strong ties with both the West and Beijing – but at the same time, the alliance between China and Russia has grown much stronger too.

This article is shared from the South China Morning Post. Continue reading the story here.

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