President Viktor Yanukovych met in New York with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. At the meeting the sides discussed some issues of international security, as well as domestic policy in Ukraine.

"We appreciate the level of our relations with NATO, their pragmatism, and focus on specific results. In our opinion, it is a reliable guarantee that the constructive partnership between Ukraine and NATO will continue," Viktor Yanukovych said, ForUm learned from the presidential press office.

He stressed Ukraine appreciates its partnership relations with NATO. "The principles of democracy and the rule of law that NATO and the European Union follow are important for Ukraine and we adhere to them strictly. We are like-minded in this area," Viktor Yanukovych said.

For his part, Anders Fogh Rasmussen praised the cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, including Ukraine’s contribution to NATO peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo. The NATO Secretary General has invited Ukraine to join some other NATO initiatives, such as the Ocean Shield anti-piracy operation.

To that Viktor Yanukovych replied: "Our national interests and our citizens are suffering from pirate attacks. It is in our interest to contribute to the fight against piracy."

The President instructed the relevant ministries to work out this question with NATO experts.

The NATO Secretary General has also invited Ukraine to take part in the next NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012. He also invited Viktor Yanukovych to visit the NATO headquarters to address the NATO Council.

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