Kiev : Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that a referendum would be held soon on whether or not to seek accession to the European Union and NATO. The President of Ukraine has indicated that majority of the Ukrainian people are in favor of the proposal. An intense reaction from Russia has been anticipated over this. The media has been claiming that the Russian President Putin, who had previously backlashed against Ukraine’s participation in NATO, has been under increasing pressure.
In 2014, Russia had seized the land of Crimea and annexed it to itself. As a result, tensions with the western countries, who supported Ukraine, had escalated tremendously. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko is known for being a staunch anti-Russian politician. Due to his stand, Russia has been holding him responsible for widening of the gap between the two countries of Ukraine and Russia. By making this important announcement on Friday, Poroshenko has added to Russia’s mounting tensions.
President Poroshenko announced that their country would soon hold a referendum on its accession to the European Union and NATO. He also claimed that Ukraine was committed for the unity within Europe.
There had been negotiations in the past as well on endorsing the European Union and NATO membership to Ukraine. However, Russia had strongly reacted then. Russia blamed NATO for challenging its sphere of influence by offering Ukraine which was once a part of the Soviet Union(USSR), a NATO membership. However, Russia had said that it would never tolerate this. It had warned that NATO’s actions would receive a sharp reaction. Additionally, Ukraine’s participation in the European Union has also been receiving a strong opposition from Russia.
Against this backdrop, Poroshenko announced a referendum on Ukraine’s participation in the European Union and NATO. As a result, the European media has been claiming that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin may have been perturbed. Likewise, certain newspapers have claimed that Russia would definitely be reacting strongly over this.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are to hold a meeting at the Austrian capital of Vienna. The media has claimed of sources having informed that in the upcoming meet, issues concerning Syria and Ukraine would be on top priority. Sources have also informed that the eastern part of Ukraine has become unsafe due to the Russian aggression and the issue will be specifically presented by the US Secretary of State to the Russian Foreign Minister. There is also a strong probability of Russia responding strongly to the announcement made by the Ukrainian president.