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Ukrainian Deputy FM Says Ukraine Doesn't Want To Be Buffer

Warsaw, May 20 (RFE/RL) -- Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Anthon Butheyko has said Ukraine does not want to be a buffer state between NATO and a Russian alliance that might include Belarus and other C.I.S. republics.

Speaking at a Polish-Ukrainian conference in Warsaw at the weekend, Butheyko said Kyiv is not against the enlargement of NATO. But he said government leaders are interested in an arrangement that will provide Kyiv with a comfortable security system. He suggested that a reformed Atlantic alliance should become an all-European security arrangment.

Butheyko went on to say that Ukraine cannot agree to putting nuclear weapons in countries that are due to join NATO.