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NATO Chief Patient On Ukraine

Scheffer (right) with Yatsenyuk in Brussels last month (NATO) April 27, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer says Ukraine must decide for itself about what kind of relationship it wants with the Western alliance.

Speaking to reporters after talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Oslo, Scheffer said NATO did not plan to interfere in Ukraine's political disagreements about joining the alliance.

"It is up to Ukraine, the Ukrainian people, to decide the pace at which it wishes to move closer to Euro-Atlantic institutions," he said. "NATO and NATO allies are ready to help and we will continue to do so."

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko favors joining NATO while Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych opposes membership.

(with material from dpa)

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

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