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Ukraine: Kuchma Speaks In Favor Of NATO Expansion

Sofia, 5 September 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Ukraine's president expressed support today for NATO's further eastward expansion. Speaking before Bulgaria's parliament, President Leonid Kuchma said former Soviet bloc members must independently decide whether to seek membership in the military alliance. He described NATO expansion as a positive development for Europe.

Kuchma said he supported Bulgaria's efforts to join the alliance, but repeated past statements that Ukraine does not plan to join NATO in the foreseeable future.

Kuchma is on a two-day working visit to Bulgaria. He is due to return to Kyiv later today.