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Polls: most Ukrainians against joining NATO

A majority of Ukrainians are against joining NATO, according to the result of an opinion poll released on Tuesday.

The recent poll conducted by the FOM-Ukraine Public Opinion Foundation showed that 54.9% of respondents would vote against joining the military alliance, while 22.3% would back the move. The survey was conducted between April 16-25 and involved 2,000respondents in Ukraine’s 160 cities and villages.

At an April NATO summit in Bucharest, capital of Romania, the 26-nation alliance refused to admit Ukraine and Georgia to its Membership Action Plan, despite US President George W. Bush’s strong support for the former Soviet states’ bids. However, NATO said it would reconsider the countries’ NATO bids at a later date.

Russia sees the NATO’s eastward expansion as a direct threat to its status as a regional power. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that his country could aim its warheads at Ukraine if it joins NATO and deploys anti-missile defenses on its territory. NATO’s rejection of Kiev and Tbilisi’s bids, which was largely a result of objections from France and Germany, was seen partly as a Russia’s diplomatic victory. (