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Ukraine: Albright Talks To Focus On NATO Expansion

  • Sonia Winter

Washington, 3 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Ukrainian Foreign Minister Gennady Udovenko's talks in Washington this week with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright are to focus on NATO enlargement and Ukraine's relations with the western military alliance.

Ukraine's ambassador to the United States Yuriy Shcherbak told our correspondent that the talks will focus on the drafting of a NATO-Ukrainian cooperation charter.

He said the charter with Ukraine will be substantially different from a proposed NATO-Russian agreement, mainly because Ukraine welcomes NATO enlargement and does not oppose it.

Shcherbak said Ukraine's charter with NATO will deal mainly with the inviolability of borders, Ukraine's independence and other security issues.

Negotiations on the document are expected to get under way this month and culminate in a signing ceremony at the planned NATO summit in Madrid in July.

Udovenko is scheduled to meet with Albright on Friday, March 7 on his way back from a visit to Ottawa.

He plans to stay in Washington only a few hours, leaving for New York after the Albright meeting. There, Yudovenko is to meet with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan before returning to Kyiv at the weekend.