Ukraine’s Defense Doctrine Names Russia Military Adversary

AP

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council called Russia a "military adversary" in its defense doctrine released today.

The document defines the "conditions for the liberation" of territories in eastern Ukraine, according to a statement by the council.

The doctrine also declares that Ukraine will retract its non-aligned status in favor of pursuit of NATO membership. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said, "The goal is to ensure full compatibility of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with NATO member states by 2020."

President Poroshenko added that the document "not only officially establishes the Russian Federation as Ukraine's military opponent, but states the task of relocating military units and creating the necessary military infrastructure in the eastern and southern regions."

According to RT, the document is a response to the "high probability" of foreign involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The doctrine says that Russian nationals are "involved in financial support of terrorists and other criminal activities, as well as in the violation of the international law, having supported the annexation of the Ukrainian territory by the Russian Federation."

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the doctrine is unprecedented in its outright definition of an enemy.

"For the first time in the history of Ukraine’s independence, there is a clearly defined enemy and aggressor in the draft of the doctrine—and it is the Russian Federation," he said.

The new defense doctrine was approved Wednesday by the National Security and Defense Council and must be signed by President Poroshenko to go into effect.