The ceremony was attended by Vice Admiral Ihor Kabanenko, Ukrainian First Deputy Chief of Defence, Krasimir Minchev, Bulgarian Ambassador to Ukraine, Petras Vaitiekunas, Lithuanian Ambassador to Ukraine, Commodore Emil Eftimov, Deputy Director of the Cooperation and Regional Security Division (C&RS) NATO International Military Staff, as well as NATO Defence Attachés and guests from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence and the General Staff.
During the ceremony at the NATO Liaison Office in Kyiv, Commodore Eftimov, Deputy Director C&RS, presided over the Change of Command Ceremony. In his remarks, Cdre Eftimov underlined the importance of military-to-military liaison for Ukraine-NATO relations. “The tasks and the role of a military liaison officer demand a high level of commitment, expertise and flexibility. The NMLO acts as a moderator, a coordinator and a facilitator, being a true focal point for all those in NATO and Kyiv looking for a military perspective and military expertise in answer to their questions.”
The outgoing NMLO, Col. Adomaitis, thanked the Ukrainian authorities for their hospitality and expressed his gratitude for being able to contribute to enhancing Ukraine-NATO relations. He congratulated his successor, and wished him good luck in this important and exciting new role. Col. Adomaitis will return to Lithuania to take up his responsibilities as Director of Armament and C2 Department at the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence.
This year marks 15 years of the NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership, whereas the NATO-Ukraine relations date back to 1991 when Ukraine joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. In 1994, Ukraine became a member of the Partnership for Peace Programme, and in 1997 the NATO-Ukraine Commission was established.