People wave Russian national flag as they celebrate the third anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 by the Russian Federation in Sevastopol on March 18, 2017. (AFP PHOTO)
KIEV, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian parliament on Wednesday passed a resolution, calling on the government of the United States to grant the East European country the status of a major non-NATO ally (MNNA).
The plea was supported by 232 lawmakers out of the 327 present at the parliamentary meeting, said a statement on the Ukrainian parliament's website.
The possible designation of Ukraine as an MNNA of the United States will boost the development of the strategic partnership between the two countries and facilitate the practical implementation of guarantees envisaged by the Budapest Memorandum, the statement said.
Under the memorandum signed in December 1994, Ukraine got security guarantees from the United States, Britain and Russia in exchange for Kiev signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty and surrendering what was then the world's third-largest nuclear arsenal.
The MNNA status offers the ally countries preferences and privileges in military cooperation with the United States, but it does not include a provision for mutual defense.
Ukraine and NATO established their partnership in early 1990s. Ukraine has closely cooperated with the alliance and actively participates in NATO's Partnership for Peace Program.