OREANDA-NEWS. Strengthening cooperation with the three post-Soviet countries will allow Europe to expand its global influence and "build up economic muscles." This opinion was shared with Foreign Affairs by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba.

According to the minister, in order to accelerate integration into the European Union, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova have created a so-called associated trio.

"Deepening interaction with this group of countries gives Europe the opportunity to strengthen global influence, expand the space of democratic values and pump up additional economic muscles," he explained.

Kuleba also believes that this will help the new US administration to strengthen transatlantic unity and security on the eastern border of "democratic Europe."

"None of the current NATO member states has such combat experience and knowledge," the Ukrainian politician is convinced.

He concluded that the entry of Ukraine into NATO and the EU will contribute to the unification of Western countries.

In 2014, the Verkhovna Rada amended two laws, according to which Ukraine renounced its non-aligned state status. In 2019, parliament passed constitutional changes, securing the country's course towards joining the EU and NATO. As a result, Ukraine became the sixth state to receive the status of a partner of the bloc with expanded opportunities.

According to the former secretary general of the alliance Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in order to join the organization, Kiev must achieve criteria that will take a lot of time to implement. Experts believe that Ukraine will not be able to apply for NATO membership in the next 20 years.