January 28, 2008 -- WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today released the following statement on Ukraine's readiness to advance a Membership Action Plan (MAP) with NATO:
"I welcome the decision by President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and Parliament Chairman Arseny Yatsenyuk to declare Ukraine's readiness to advance a Membership Action Plan (MAP) with NATO.
"The extension of NATO membership to new democracies in Europe has helped create a zone of peace and prosperity across Europe and enhanced NATO's military capability by facilitating contributions from new members. I therefore applaud the Ukrainian leaders' commitment to deepening the democratic reforms required of all NATO members and to undertaking new responsibilities in their relationship with the Alliance. The Ukrainian leadership's determination to foster national unity and consult the Ukrainian people on the question of Ukraine's future in NATO demonstrates the importance they place on national unity and open, democratic debate.
"NATO's upcoming summit in Bucharest in April 2008 is a critical opportunity to continue to build the Europe "whole and free" that has been the goal of all recent U.S. presidents. I call on President Bush and all of NATO's leaders to seize that opportunity."
UNLESS YOU'VE BEEN hiding in a cave somewhere or posted to a UN humanitarian assistance project site in North Korea, you know that the latest contest in the U.S. election is over who can come up with the sexiest stimulus package for the economy. Both Obama and Clinton have put forth their own plans as part of campaign one-upmanship. Meanwhile, the Congress has proposed a bipartisan plan that would send checks to taxpayers to encourage extra spending and pump up the economy.
Increasing worries about the state of the U.S. economy dominated the sidebar conversations and media coverage of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Statement from Senator Hillary Clinton on Ukrainian Membership in NATO
Hillary Clinton campaign
"I enthusiastically welcome the January 11 letter from Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko, and Verkhovna Rada Chairman Arsenii Yatsenyuk to NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, which outlines Ukraine's desire for a closer relationship with NATO, including a Membership Action Plan.
Like Ukraine's leaders, I hope that important steps toward reaching these goals will be made at the NATO summit in Bucharest in early April.