President George W. Bush sought an advice on Ukraine from his Polish counterpart Lech Kaczynski as the two had discussed plans for NATO’s further expansion, Ukrainian Journal reported.

Poland, one of the staunchest allies of the U.S. in Europe, is also the most vocal advocate of Ukraine’s quick accession to NATO and to the European Union.

"I asked the president his advice on Ukraine," Bush said according to The Associated Press. "That's what friends do - they share information and share strategic thoughts."

The development is an indication that parties have been actively looking into the possibility of Ukraine’s joining NATO in 2008, an ambitious goal that has been declared by Ukraine.

A key indicator of whether Ukraine is actually on track of meeting its target of joining NATO in 2008, is the country’s joining of the Membership Action Plan, or MAP, in June, analysts said. The plan is a set of measures to ensure that the country is ready to join NATO within two years.

Anatoliy Hrytsenko, the defense minister, said Ukraine may join the MAP later this year, but it will depend on several factors, including the March 26 general election.


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