Chairman of the NATO Military Committee in Ukraine to discuss security situation and defence reforms

  • 22 Apr. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 22 Apr. 2016 16:29

Over the course of his visit to Ukraine (20-22 April), the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel met with the Ukrainian Minister of Defence General Stepan Poltorak, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Oleksander Turchynov, and Chief of Defence, General Viktor Muzhenko. He also provided the closing address to the 16th International NATO Week Conference, in Kiev.

During his meetings with Ukrainian Minister of Defence, General Stepan Poltorak and Chief of Defence, General Viktor Muzhenko, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel discussed the current security situation in and around Ukraine as well as the reform of the Ukrainian defence sector in general and of the Armed Forces in particular. General Pavel acknowledged the significant progress made in areas such as command and control, logistics capabilities and training, adding that “the scope of reforms is truly impressive considering the backdrop of real-life operations”. He also stressed NATO’s continued commitment to NATO’s partnership with Ukraine and its reform efforts, as demonstrated through a variety of means, “be it the depth and broad spectrum of activities that NATO and Ukraine are doing together or the fact that as a long-standing partner, Ukraine has been invited to attend the NATO Summit in Warsaw in July where a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission will take place”.

On the backdrop of the first NATO-Russia Council meeting since June 2014, General Petr Pavel took the opportunity to reassure the Ukrainian military leadership: “At times like these, political dialogue is useful and necessary if we are to reduce the risk of military incidents and to clarify and resolve serious disagreements. But this does not mean a return to business as usual. This will not happen until Russia again respects international law.

The Chairman concluded his visit to Ukraine by providing the closing address to the 16th International Kiev Week, organised by the NATO Defence College with the collaboration of the NATO School in Oberammergau, in support of the Ukrainian National Defence University. In his speech, General Pavel focused on the current threat landscape and NATO’s adaptation to address these threats, highlighting that “NATO is a cohesive and proactive security institution in today’s strategic environment. It is the most reliable and ready military alliance the world has ever known. But we are stronger together, 28 for 28, in conjunction with our partners, in the face of any challenge. We will continue to deter state actors with capable and responsive force, while having the ability to project stability to thwart non-state actors”.