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Ukraine Votes To Drop "Non-Aligned" Status

The move could pave the way to closer ties with NATO – and anger Russia.

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Ukraine's parliament today voted to renounce the country's "non-aligned" status, potentially paving the way for NATO membership, Reuters reported.

Gleb Garanich / Reuters

Newly elected parliamentary deputies take their oath during the first session of the new Ukrainian parliament, which was elected in October, in Kiev November 27, 2014.

The amendment passed with 303 votes, 77 more than is required.

The move is likely to anger the Russian government, with Moscow opposed to Kiev more closely aligning itself with the European Union, and the NATO defense alliance.

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko had promised to apply for NATO membership, following Russia's support for the rebels in the country's restive east.

Russia has faced U.S. and E.U. sanctions for suppling the rebels with weapons and support —which Moscow denies.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.

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