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De Hoop Scheffer in Ukraine today 27 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said today that the alliance is ready to help Ukraine in its bid to become a member.

De Hoop Scheffer, who is on a one-day visit to Kyiv, was speaking after meeting Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk.

He is also scheduled to meet with President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko, and other top officials.

De Hoop Scheffer said the Ukrainian government was on "the reform path" and added that he and NATO were ready to assist Ukraine. He did not elaborate.

Yushchenko has set 2008 as the target date for joining NATO.

NATO has said, however, that Ukraine has considerable work ahead before its membership can be considered.

(AP)
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