President Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine's goal is to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) within the next ten years.
He spoke about this during an interview with Hamburger Abendblatt, a subsidiary of the German media company Funke Media Group.
"We are working on NATO membership with particular perseverance. Our goal is to become a member of the Alliance within the next ten years," Poroshenko said.
According to the President the Alliance "would become stronger and more efficient than it is today” together with Ukraine, adding that “the NATO nations could learn from Ukraine how to resist Russia."
Poroshenko recalled that Kyiv has been confronted by Kremlin-supported pro-Russian separatists in the eastern portion of Ukraine since 2014.
Regarding the annexation of the Crimea by Russia, Poroshenko said that "Russia destroyed the system of international order after World War II. There is no alternative to a strong NATO for the global security system. "
Commenting on the granting of NATO "aspirant country" status to Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Georgia, Poroshenko stressed: "We now need a plan of actions to gain full membership in NATO. We want to get this plan by the end of 2019."
Poroshenko also stressed that Ukraine seeks to fulfill all criteria for membership in NATO and the European Union "as soon as possible”.
"The Ukrainian government allocates up to six percent of GDP to defense; this is four times more than some of NATO’s partners," the President stressed.
Poroshenko earlier ordered the preparation of draft amendments to the Constitution aimed to strengthen Ukraine's aspirations for membership in NATO and the European Union.
The Verkhovna Rada adopted a law in 2017 that defined Ukraine's accession to NATO as a foreign policy priority.
The course for NATO membership is prescribed in the laws "On the Basics of Domestic and Foreign Policy" and "On the Fundamentals of National Security of Ukraine."