News & Analysis

Ukrainian president reaffirms commitment to NATO, EU

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring that the country meets all criteria for NATO and EU membership within the next five years.

Speaking with reporters in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Mr Poroshenko said that the coming five years will be crucial for the country’s future.

“There are three main things to do,” he said. “First, to achieve peace on the basis of Ukraine’s national interests, not on the basis of surrender, Secondly, we must overcome the consequences of the economic crisis caused by the war and Russia’s economic blockade, and thirdly we need to meet the criteria for joining the EU and NATO.”

Whether or not Mr Poroshenko will be around to oversee the process is a moot point. Ukraine holds a presidential election at the end of March 2019 and his popularity is currently at a record low. In opinion polls, he trails both the favourite for the election, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as well as Volodymyr Zelensky, an actor and screenwriter believed to be Ms Tymoshenko’s closest challenger.