Ukraine moves toward allowing foreigners in military

AP , Tuesday 6 Oct 2015

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko observes a moment of silence during a commemorative parliament session marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Kiev, Ukraine, on Friday. On Tuesday, the parliament passed the first reading of a law that would enable foreigners to serve in the nation's armed forces. (Photo: Reuters)

Ukraine's parliament has passed a measure that would allow foreigners to serve in its armed forces.

The legislation, which cleared a final reading on Tuesday, comes as tensions persist with Russia over the separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine and Western governments allege Russia is sending troops and equipment to back the separatists and Ukraine has adopted a national security doctrine declaring Russia as its foe.

Russia in turn claims Ukraine's Western leanings and interest in joining NATO threaten Russia's security. Allowing foreigners into the Ukrainian military is likely to reinforce Moscow's concerns.

The measure still needs the president's signature in order to become law.

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