Ukraine Parliament cancels its non-aligned status

On 23 December 2014, the Ukrainian parliament passed a Bill cancelling the country’s non-aligned status and confirming it’s determination to join NATO. A total of 303 lawmakers voted in support of the Bill easily surpassing the 226 votes required to pass it.

Ukraine’s non-aligned status was outlined in a 2010 law signed by then-president Viktor Yanukovych and stipulating that Ukraine would not seek membership of military-political alliances.

In August 2014, Ukrainian authorities had announced their decision to abolish the country’s non-aligned status and resume Ukraine’s course towards NATO membership. According to President Poroshenko, Ukraine’s non-aligned status meant no guarantees of its safety and therefore needed to be cancelled.

Upset by Ukraine’s decision, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated repeatedly that Ukraine’s non-aligned status is in the best interests of the Ukrainian people, the country’s neighboring States and European security in general. He also let it be known that the issue is a matter of principle for Russia.

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