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Published on Feb 2, 2017
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko plans a referendum on whether his country should join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO. Poroshenko said polls suggest 54 percent of Ukrainians support such a move. Poroshenko said if Ukrainian people vote in favor, he will do all he can to secure Ukraine’s membership in the Western military alliance. Any move by NATO to admit Ukraine is expected to spark tensions with Russia. NATO and Ukraine have had close relations since the early 1990s. They both accuse Russia of providing troops and weapons to support pro-Russia militias in eastern Ukraine but Moscow has denied any involvement. NATO has recently conducted large-scale military maneuvers in Ukraine.