The NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) at the level of Foreign Ministers met in Brussels today to discuss the further development of the Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine in light of Ukraine’s implementation of its Annual National Programme for 2009.
NUC Ministers noted the high-level political dialogue that took place this year between NATO and Ukraine, and welcomed the signing of the Declaration to complement the NATO-Ukraine Charter on a Distinctive Partnership in August, which gives the NATO Ukraine Commission a central role in supervising the process set in hand by the Bucharest Summit, deepening regular political dialogue, and underpinning reforms pertaining to Ukraine’s aspirations for membership in NATO.
Referring to their Assessment of Ukraine’s implementation of its first Annual National Programme, NATO Ministers noted that Ukraine has made progress, but that work remains to be done. They encouraged Ukraine to ensure that elections in 2010 meet international standards, and to improve inter-departmental coordination of the implementation of the Annual National Programme. They expressed concern that security and defence reforms have slowed, but looked forward to the results of the Strategic Defence Review as an indicator that Ukraine will align its objectives with available resources. NATO Ministers also looked forward to the timely adoption and effective implementation of Ukraine’s Annual National Programme for 2010.
NATO Ministers expressed their high appreciation for Ukraine’s contribution to all major NATO-led operations and missions, including KFOR in Kosovo, Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean, ISAF in Afghanistan, and the NATO Training Mission in Iraq. NATO Ministers took special note of Ukraine's decision to increase its contribution to ISAF. They also welcomed Ukraine’s decision to contribute to the NATO Response Force – the first such contribution from a Partner Nation. They welcomed Ukraine’s agreement to allow the transit of goods in support of ISAF through its territory, expecting that Ukraine will soon be in a position to implement this agreement.
Foreign Minister Poroshenko expressed his nation’s appreciation for the humanitarian aid rendered by NATO Allies to curb the outbreak of pandemic flu. He expressed Ukraine’s intent to contribute to development of NATO’s Strategic Concept, and his readiness to participate in a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Tallinn in April 2010.
Moreover, NUC Ministers agreed on the importance of Ukraine’s efforts to provide objective information about the Alliance to its citizens, on the achievements made in public diplomacy to date, and the need to find a solution to the co-location of NATO’s offices in Kyiv.