Ukraine's new prime minister has vowed to remain on course toward NATO membership.

Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov says his government will follow the lead of his predecessor, Yulia Tymoshenko, and do everything possible to gain NATO entry. He spoke after talks at NATO headquarters Friday.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer welcomed the ambitious intentions of Ukraine. The Associated Press quotes the secretary-general as saying Ukraine must prove its democratic credentials, its efforts to crack down on corruption, as well as efforts to modernize its military before movement toward membership can happen.

Mr. Yekhanurov's pledge to proceed with needed reforms and integration efforts into the European community follows the firing of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, whose government collapsed last month amid widespread infighting.

Some information for this report provided by AP.