Kiev: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton told Ukrainian leaders on Friday that the door to
membership in the NATO alliance remains open.
Clinton alluded to the newly elected Ukrainian
government`s closer alignment to Moscow and its decision to
steer away from NATO membership.
Slowing her delivery to emphasise the NATO issue, Clinton
told the government officials she wanted to make it clear that
the US would not pressure Ukraine to join NATO. She said it is
up to Ukraine to choose its own alliances and to make such
decisions in line with its own security interests.
Clinton arrived in the Ukrainian capital at dawn and was
spending the day in a series of meetings with top government
At a news conference later, Clinton emphasised the
positive on Ukrainian democratic reforms.
"I commend the government for those commitments," Clinton
said, adding that now it needs to turn those commitments into
action to improve freedom of the press and other democratic