Dear Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers. I extend particularly warm words of welcome to our Ukrainian colleague, Minister Poroshenko, attending this gathering for the first time.
As you know we have all been very busy since the Bucharest summit, which took the historic decision that Ukraine will become a member of NATO. We have been busy deepening our political dialogue, and strengthening our cooperation, including on Ukraine’s reforms.
This Commission is where we do that. The Annual National Programme is how we do it, and the first one has been developed and implemented with success this year. Today we will take stock of what we’ve achieved, and look at what more we can do in the coming years.
Much work is needed of course for Ukraine to reach the ambitious goals it strives to attain. Allies do expect very high standards from Ukraine in all domains of public life – the upcoming presidential elections being no exception.
We will also discuss questions of regional security, as well as Ukraine's contribution to NATO-led operations. Already at this stage let me reiterate our thanks for the strong commitment we have seen from Ukraine - in all operations and missions, including in Afghanistan and Active Endeavour. Ukrainian participation is proof of her will and capability to be part of the solution to major security challenges. And we welcome that.
I would now like to give the floor to Minister Poroshenko.