The NATO-Ukraine Commission met in Foreign Ministers session at NATO Headquarters on 15 December 1999.
Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers
Left to right: Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero (Deputy NATO Secretary General) with Volodymyr Khandogiy (Acting Minister, Ukraine)
The Commission welcomed the reaffirmation of Ukraine's policy of Euro-Atlantic integration after the re-election of President Kuchma. The Ministers stressed their mutual commitment to making further progress in enhancing the NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership. In this context, they also noted Ukraine's aspiration for closer involvement in the process of developing the European security and defence identity.
The Commission discussed the security situation in the Euro-Atlantic area and welcomed the approval by the OSCE Summit of the Charter for European Security, the adapted CFE Treaty and the updated Vienna Document. The Ministers expressed their confidence that the EAPC, the PfP program, the NATO-Ukraine Charter as well as the NATO-Russia partnership all have a major role to play in further strengthening European security and stability. The members of the Commission appreciated the achievements of NATO and Ukraine in strengthening regional security, in particular through their close cooperation within KFOR and SFOR. They also took positive note of Ukraine's commitment to further promote regional security in Europe through her membership in the UN Security Council in 2000-2001.
The Commission reviewed the situation in the Balkans. The Ministers welcomed the continuing progress in implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina and noted the restructuring of SFOR. The members of the Commission discussed further prospects for NATO-Ukraine cooperation in the consolidation of peace and security in Kosovo and noted the achievements of KFOR in this regard. They also discussed present and future challenges to KFOR and called upon all ethnic communities to demonstrate tolerance and work together with the international community in the reconstruction efforts. The members of the Commission condemned the ongoing acts of ethnic violence in Kosovo and stressed their determination to meet the full aims of the international community as set out in UNSCR 1244, reaffirming their commitment to a multi-ethnic and democratic Kosovo within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Centre left to right: Volodymyr Khandogiy (Acting Minister, Ukraine) talking with NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
The Commission exchanged views on the results of cooperation under the NATO-Ukraine Charter in 1999 and endorsed a substantial range of cooperative activities for 2000, with a particular emphasis on such fields as military-technical cooperation, armaments and standardization, economic and environmental aspects of defence-related activities, science and technology, and civil emergency planning. The members of the Commission noted significant progress reached in NATO-Ukraine cooperation under the Charter and within the Partnership for Peace. Ministers welcomed steps undertaken in Ukraine to ensure the effective implementation of Ukraine's National Program for cooperation with NATO to the year 2001, as well as efforts to make the Yavoriv PfP Training Center fully operational.
The Commission took positive note of the more focussed and prioritized approach taken by Ukraine towards her cooperation with the Alliance. Ministers also discussed the prospects of further strengthening the institutional basis of the NATO-Ukraine relationship, in particular the NATO Liaison Office to Ukraine, the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv, as well as the Joint Working Groups on Defence Reform, Civil Emergency Planning, and the Open Ended Working Groups on Economic Security and Retraining of Retired Military Personnel.
The next meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission will be held in Ambassadorial session in Kyiv in March 2000.