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Latvia’s NATO envoy says alliance cannot guarantee Ukraine’s security

Ukraine is not a NATO member, it is NATO’s close partner, but the alliance is not obliged to guarantee the security of this country. NATO’s task is to focus on protection of its member-countries, says Maris Riekstins, Latvia’s NATO envoy, who is reportedly one of the country’s potential presidential candidates.

Drawing the line between NATO member-countries and any other country which is not a NATO member, the envoy said what is happening in Ukraine now is a tragedy, as people, both civilians and soldiers, are dying. “People often do not understand why NATO doesn’t provide military assistance to Ukraine. It should be noted that NATO’s basic task is to protect the security of the alliance countries. Ukraine is a close partner of NATO, and this may sound cynical, but guaranteeing Ukraine’s security is not NATO’s duty,” Maris Riekstins said.

He said NATO is not a global policeman, and it does not seek to act outside the territories of its member-countries.

Riekstins said the goal of the Western world, which Latvia belongs to as a member of the EU and NATO, is to prevent a large-scale conflict with unpredictable consequences. "This is precisely what the EU and NATO policies are aimed at," he said.

Earlier, on December 23, 2014, the Supreme Rada of Ukraine canceled Ukraine’s non-bloc status. On April 22, 2015, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said he is going to hold a nation-wide referendum for joining NATO.

On April 13, CSTO Secretary General Nikolay Bordyuzha said any attempts of NATO to intervene in the conflict in Ukraine just aggravate it and encourage the “party of war” in Kiev.

On April 17, Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin warned NATO that Kiev will start considering an alignment with other organizations unless NATO provides security guarantees to Ukraine. On February 6, Ukraine Defense Minister’s aide Alexander Danilyuk said NATO is not likely to admit his country, so Ukraine must lead its own “security union” on the post-Soviet space. A day before that, French President Francois Hollande said Paris still does not want to see Ukraine at NATO.

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