Ukraine's accession to NATO was eliminated in 2004, when Leonid Kuchma rejected the idea of Ukraine's joining the alliance in favor of Vladimir Putin, said Yevhen Marchuk, the former head of the Security Service of Ukraine and the former Prime Minister of Ukraine in the air of the 112 Ukraine TV channel, Joinfo.ua reports.
According to Marchuk, at that time, Ukraine was at the peak of cooperation with the Alliance.
"In 2002, we adopted a new NATO-Ukraine strategy and added it to the Law on the Basis of National Security, which provides for future accession to NATO in order to ensure national security. President Kuchma added the same provision to the military doctrine," said Marchuk.
Later, at the Prague summit, Ukraine was granted the Plan of Action for cooperation and accession to NATO.
"In 2004, after the Istanbul summit, President Kuchma and President Putin spent one day at the Azov Sea, and this provision was removed from the military doctrine, and Prime Minister Yanukovych said that Ukraine would cooperate with NATO, but not to accede it.
Moreover, the decree created a working group and Azarov became the main "euro integrator" with Anatoly Orel as his secretary," said Marchuk.
"Yet in 2004, when we were at the peak of a large cooperation, the path to NATO was cut short in favor of Russia," he concluded.