|Updated: 08-Dec-2005||NATO Press Releases|
8 Dec . 2005
Foreign Ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, meeting today in Brussels, underscored the importance of the NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership for security and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area. They also discussed the prospects for the future evolution of their relationship, in the context of their Intensified Dialogue on Ukraine’s aspirations to NATO membership and relevant reforms, without prejudice to any eventual Alliance decision.
Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the success of NATO's operations and missions, including ISAF in Afghanistan, KFOR in Kosovo, and Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean, noting with satisfaction Ukraine’s active support to these missions. They called for the further intensification of such operational cooperation, agreeing to explore possible Ukrainian contributions to the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) and the Alliance’s logistic support of the African Union in Darfur. They expressed appreciation forUkraine’s contributions to regional security.
Ministers further welcomed the progress that had been made throughout 2005 in developing practical NATO-Ukraine projects aimed at addressing Ukraine’s national security and defenceneeds, including the launch of PfP trust funds to assist with the destruction of dangerous excess munitionsand the retraining and resettlement of redundant military personnel. They also welcomed the launch, at the recent High-Level NATO-Ukraine Consultations in Vilnius, ofa project to assist with the training of civilian personnel to serve in Ukraine’s security and defence structures.
Allied Ministers reiterated that NATO’s door remains open to European democracies willing and able to assume the responsibilities of membership, in accordance with Article 10 of the Washington Treaty. At the same time, they stressed that further progress toward achieving Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration goals, including possibleparticipation in the Membership Action Plan programme, would depend primarily upon concrete, measurable progress in the implementation of key reformsand policies.
In the framework of the Intensified Dialogue launched earlier this year, Ministers reviewed the progress that had been made throughout 2005 in strengthening Ukraine’s democratic institutions and reforming her defence and security sectors. In this context, they welcomed in particular the readiness of the Government of Ukraine to undertake a comprehensive review of Ukraine's security sector. They looked forward to the conduct of free, fair elections, includingto the Verkhovna Rada in March 2006, as important opportunities for Ukraine to demonstrate the permanent character of reforms. They encouraged the implementation of further judicial and administrative reform, including in the fight against corruption. They further encouraged Ukraine to continue to contribute to regional security.Finally, they took note of the work underway to develop an ambitious NATO-Ukraine Annual Target Plan for 2006, and looked forward to its prompt adoption and timely and determined implementation. Ministers agreed to keep Ukraine’s progress under review. Allied Ministers will continue to assist Ukraine in the implementation of reform goals.