Ukraine president signs amendment on NATO, EU membership

Posted at 9:47 AM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 09:47:43-05

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president has signed a constitutional amendment committing to join NATO and the European Union.

Speaking in parliament Tuesday, President Petro Poroshenko said he sees securing Ukraine's membership in the EU and NATO as his "strategic mission."

Poroshenko, who is running for a second five-year term in the March 31 election, told Verkhovna Rada that he aims to make a formal bid to join the EU by 2023. He acknowledged, however, that Ukraine needs to come a "long way" to meet the criteria of joining both institutions.

European Council President Donald Tusk addressed the parliament in Ukrainian, declaring that "there is no Europe without Ukraine." He pledged that the EU would never acknowledge Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and would keep its sanctions against Moscow.