Ukraine says only it and NATO should determine membership

KYIV: Only Ukraine and NATO should determine Kyiv's bid to join the alliance, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said after meeting his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Kyiv on Tuesday (Feb 15).

"No one but Ukraine and NATO members should have a say in the discussions about Ukraine's future NATO membership," Kuleba said.

He also said Italy was ready to take "practical steps" in to help Ukraine in containing Russia, including supporting a package of sanctions by the European Union.

The meeting with Di Maio came hours after Russia said it was withdrawing some of its troops deployed near Ukraine and as Russia's parliament asked President Vladimir Putin to recognise two territories held by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine's east.

After visiting Kiev, Di Maio is scheduled to travel to Moscow, Kuleba said.

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