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The closer we approach EU, NATO, the better our sovereignty protected - Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister

The closer we approach EU, NATO, the better our sovereignty protected - Ukrainian Deputy Prime MinisterUkraine's independence could only be protected by a strong army, whereas transition to the NATO standards contributes to the strengthening of the army, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze has said.

"The closer we approach the EU and NATO, the more we experience these standards, the better our independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty are protected," Klympush-Tsintsadze said at a conference in Kyiv on Friday.

The deputy prime minister emphasized that Ukrainian border can be defended by a well-trained Ukrainian army.

"We are reforming the armed forces now with the help of international partners, NATO, OSCE, and NGOs. We will be able to protect our country with the help of their power and potential," Klympush-Tsintsadze said.

At the same time, the deputy prime minister added: "But we understand that the way out of the conflict that ignited as a result of Russian aggression: it is of a political and diplomatic nature. Solidarity is extremely important in this context, regardless affiliation to the political forces."

Klympush-Tsintsadze also recalled that the NATO's comprehensive assistance package for Ukraine, adopted during the NATO Summit in Warsaw, contains a paragraph on expert assistance in the development of public control over the activity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

"Democratic control of the army and law enforcement agencies is one of the standards necessary for NATO membership and we need to bring it into effect," Klympush-Tsintsadze said.
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