Ukraine has taken a significant step towards joining NATO after the country’s parliament voted on Tuesday to drop its official neutrality in international relations.
President Petro Poroshenko pledged to work towards NATO membership although it is not clear how soon Kyiv would apply.
A law passed in 2010 had previously established Ukraine would be ‘non-aligned’ and not able to join any military alliances.
This time, MPs voted to drop the country’s non-aligned status by 303 votes in favour to 8 against.
The move is bound to increase tensions with Russia at a time when relations between the two countries are strained after the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in Ukraine’s eastern region.