The Ukrainian government is revising its plans to join NATO after an opposition protest prevented parliament from meeting. Up to two dozen members of the Regions party and their Communist allies gathered around the speaker’s seat and placed chairs at entrances to prevent access to the chamber.
It comes after Kiev asked NATO last week to grant it a “Membership Action Plan” the first stage of the long-term adhesion process. Polls suggest the country is sharply divided over the issue, but Volodymyr Polokhalo, an MP from the ruling bloc, believes “there were clearly some foreign powers involved in the anti-NATO protest, first and foremost Russia.”
Outside parliament, hundreds more protested against moves to join the alliance. NATO ambassadors will study Ukraine’s request before meeting in Romania in April, but some insiders say the Action Plan is unlikely to be approved at that summit.