Ukraine Still Needs To Implement Reforms To Meet NATO Criteria - Pentagon Official

(@FahadShabbir)

Ukraine Still Needs to Implement Reforms to Meet NATO Criteria - Pentagon Official

Ukraine still needs to implement a series of reforms to ensure the interoperability of its armed forces with those of NATO and meet the alliance's membership requirements, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper said on Monday

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 07th June, 2021) Ukraine still needs to implement a series of reforms to ensure the interoperability of its armed forces with those of NATO and meet the alliance's membership requirements, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper said on Monday.

"In a case of Ukraine we still do have a number of reforms that are necessary to ensure that the Ukrainian armed forces would in fact be ready and NATO interoperable. So our focus is on that reform agenda and making sure that Ukraine would be ready to join NATO," Cooper said in a virtual address to the Democracy in Action: Zero Corruption Conference held in Ukraine.

Cooper did not give a direct answer to a question whether Ukraine stands a chance at all to join NATO "in the next decade or so.

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"The United States absolutely stands by the 2008 Bucharest Declaration, which says that one day Ukraine will be a member of NATO. And we are committed to working with Ukraine so that it can progress the reforms that would be required for NATO membership," Cooper, who is responsible for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian affairs in the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, said.

However, Cooper brushed aside speculations there is hesitation within NATO to accept Ukraine stemming from a fear from Russia.

"Russia absolutely does not have a veto," Cooper said.

Moreover, Russia should be denied of a veto power over sovereign choices of nations as to which alliance and treaties they want to sign up to, she added.