NATO Allies and Partners mark the 20th anniversary of the Partnership for Peace amid Russia-Ukraine crisis
The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) met today to mark the 20th anniversary of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) which has transformed Euro-Atlantic security and NATO itself by erasing dividing lines, inspiring reforms and building peace and security through consultation and cooperation based on common democratic values.
The EAPC nations stressed that the Partnership for Peace has been a success story, with thousands of civilian and military personnel from across the Euro-Atlantic area training, exercising and taking part in operations together to address a broad range of security challenges. Through this training, most of the PfP partners have been able to participate in NATO-led operations over the last 20 years, with significant contributions and sacrifices.
Together, NATO partners and Allies have supported reform of democratic defence sectors, funded the destruction of millions of mines and small arms and ammunitions, developed NATO policies on women in peace and security, cooperated to manage humanitarian emergencies, and are increasingly extending this work to partners beyond the Euro-Atlantic area.
The discussions emphasized that 20 years of cooperation have been driven by common values and principles. The basic principles of PfP include the commitment to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, to respect internationally recognised borders and to settle disputes by peaceful means. In that context, many participants deplored that one member of the EAPC, Russia, has violated these principles, most recently through the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea and its interference in Ukrainian affairs. Many EAPC members condemned Russia’s actions and strongly called for Russia to abide by its international obligations, to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and reverse the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea. A large number of EAPC nations reiterated that the only way forward is through a political solution to the crisis, which is undermining security for the entire Euro-Atlantic area.
EAPC nations also discussed ways to further build on the potential of the Partnership for Peace at NATO’s Wales Summit in September. They pointed to the possibilities of further strengthening political dialogue and developing cooperation in areas such as human security, building defence capacities, smart defence and inter-operability. Cooperation in the spirit of PfP with non-PfP partners will open new avenues for cooperation, by making use of 20 years of lessons learnt and best practices in PfP, with the aim to foster security and cooperation within the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond.