VILNIUS – Ukraine expects that NATO will set a clear time frame for its accession to the Alliance at July's summit in Vilnius and that talks on the country's EU membership will start this year, Ruslan Stefanchuk, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, said on Tuesday after meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart, Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, in the Czech Republic.
"Ukraine strongly expects that negotiations on our full EU membership will begin this year," Stefanchuk posted on Facebook after the meeting.
"Ukraine has high expectations for the NATO summit in Vilnius. Its most important outcome should be the definition of the Alliance's vision and a clear time frame for Ukraine's accession to NATO," he wrote.
The chairman of the Verkhovna Rada said he had personally thanked the speaker of the Seimas for the Lithuanian parliament's "resolution on our earliest possible membership of NATO".
He also thanked Lithuania for its continuous and comprehensive support to Ukraine.
Cmilyte-Nielsen this week took part in the Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments in Prague.
In her speech, she called on the West to support Ukraine's EU membership bid and to continue both political and military support for the country
Lithuania seeks that the Vilnius summit offer Ukraine an invitation to join the Alliance. In a resolution, the Seimas has named this as one of Lithuania's key goals for the summit.
However, the country's officials conducting negotiations have more modest ambitions. They propose that Kyiv's integration into NATO should be carried out gradually in individual areas, recognizing the Allies' possible skepticism about inviting the country at war to join the Alliance.