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NATO''s Rasmussen sees shortcomings in Ukraine elections

BRUSSELS, Oct 30 (KUNA) -- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussn Tuesday said he has taken note of the concerns expressed by the International Election Observation mission in its preliminary findings regarding the conduct of the parliamentary elections held in Ukraine on Sunday.
"These preliminary findings outline a mixed picture with several shortcomings... and that certain aspects of the pre-election period constituted a step backwards compared with recent elections," he said in a statement.
"Although Ukraine is not a member of the 28-member Alliance, but it "is an important partner for NATO," stated Rasmussen.
"An independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security. The Alliance stands ready to further assist Ukraine in its reforms," he added. (end) nk.hb KUNA 301932 Oct 12NNNN