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27 July 2004 -- Kyiv said today it has not changed its policy toward NATO and the EU despite substituting a new goal of "deepening" its relations with the blocs for its earlier goal of "joining" them.

Deputy Foreign Minister Oleh Shamshur told a press conference in Kyiv that Ukraine still is stressing what he called "Eurointegration."

"We do not see any reasons for claims that Ukraine has changed its European and Euro-Atlantic course, since the ultimate goal of European integration has not changed, is not changing, and I don't think it will change. The key word about European integration is still there," Shamshur said.

The Ukrainian government yesterday posted on its website a decree signed 15 July, which states that "Ukraine's national security interests require the deepening of relations with NATO and the EU as guarantors of security and stability in Europe."

The new decree appeared to conflict with Kuchma's signing of a defense doctrine in June that stated Kyiv was "pursuing a policy of Euro-Atlantic integration with a final goal of joining NATO as the basis of the European security system."

It is unclear whether Kyiv will now seek a formal change of wording to its June defense doctrine. The English-language daily "The Moscow Times" reported yesterday that changing the doctrine would require parliamentary approval.

(RFE/RL/Reuters/"The Moscow Times")
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