The NATO respects a neutral status of Ukraine, and its decision to join the alliance depends only on this country, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

He confirmed that the decision of NATO at the Bucharest Summit in 2008 that Georgia and Ukraine are eligible for membership in the alliance remains in force. In this case, the NATO Secretary General noted that Ukraine should determine its direction of cooperation with NATO in the coming years.

"Yesterday's meeting, as well as talks held earlier with the President of Ukraine, proved that Ukraine is firmly interested in further development of practical cooperation with NATO," Rasmussen said in Brussels at the end of another meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commissionat at the level of defense ministers with the participation of new Ukrainian defense minister Pavlo Lebedev.

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