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Poroshenko: Ukrainians Should Vote On Whether to Join NATO

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has repeated a pledge to put the question of NATO membership before the Ukrainian people in a referendum vote.

Poroshenko told the iTele French television station on April 22 that joining NATO is a "fundamental" issue, and he would "hold a referendum [and] let the people decide."

He did not say when such a vote would be held.

The Ukrainian president has previously stated that Kyiv would not attempt to join the military alliance without getting approval in a referendum.

But Poroshenko said the government's priority is joining the European Union because Ukraine is a European country and "Europe can't be complete without Ukraine."

On the fighting in eastern Ukraine, Poroshenko said bloodshed continues as government troops battle Russian-backed separatists in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions despite a February cease-fire agreement.

More than 6,100 people have been killed in the conflict in the past year.

Based on reporting by Unian and