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Ukraine Thanks U.S. For Backing NATO Bid


http://gdb.rferl.org/872C2B58-D25F-4A79-9345-AC3838124F6B_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/872C2B58-D25F-4A79-9345-AC3838124F6B_mw800_mh600.jpg AntiNATO protesters in Ukraine in December (ITAR-TASS) April 11, 2007 -- Ukraine's Foreign Ministry today expressed its "gratitude" to Washington for backing the country's bid to join NATO.

U.S. President George W. Bush on April 10 signed legislation supporting NATO membership for Ukraine, Georgia, Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia.

The bill also authorizes U.S. funds for military assistance for the five countries, provided they continue to implement democratic and economic reforms.

In Russia, the legislation has drawn harsh criticism.

Leonid Slutsky, the first deputy chairman of the State Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, told the ITAR-TASS news agency that the legislation is aimed at "destroying" relations between Russia and other former Soviet states.

(Interfax, ITAR-TASS)
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