Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Ministers of Defence - NATO Headquarters, Brussels, 13 June 2008
- We, the Defence Ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, met in Brussels on 13 June 2008. We addressed the further development of NATO-Ukraine defence and security relations. Our discussions focused on Ukraine's progress and efforts in implementing defence and security sector reforms, as well as Ukraine’s contribution to security and stability. We also addressed Ukraine’s intention to participate in a number of NATO’s defence policy initiatives.
- Recalling the decisions taken by NATO Heads of State and Government at the NATO Summit in Bucharest that Ukraine will become a member of NATO, we decided to carry forward our cooperation under the NATO-Ukraine Commission and advance the Distinctive Partnership, notably through intensive engagement at a high political level to address the defence-related issues pertaining to Ukraine’s MAP application. MAP is the next step for Ukraine on its direct way to membership. A first assessment will be made by Foreign Ministers in December 2008.
- We value highly the substantial contribution of the NATO-Ukraine partnership to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond. In this respect, Allies welcomed Ukraine’s active support to all NATO-led operations and missions, as the only Partner country to make such a contribution. In the overall context of the NATO helicopter initiative, Allies also noted with appreciation Ukraine’s willingness to join the United Kingdom/France initiative to support helicopter capability upgrades and pilot training, aiming to make more helicopters available for multinational operations. Allies also welcomed Ukraine's intention to continue to offer its strategic airlift capabilities in support of NATO's operations. We also welcomed Ukraine’s accession to the Air Situation Data Exchange Programme. Allied Defence Ministers took note, with appreciation, of Ukraine’s readiness to work out arrangements for the transit through Ukraine of equipment and supplies for ISAF.
- The North Atlantic Council decision to accept Ukraine's offer to significantly contribute to the NATO Response Force is a further step in enhancing relations between NATO and Ukraine, and Allies welcomed Ukraine's efforts to prepare for such possible contributions.
- We also took stock of progress and efforts achieved by Ukraine in aligning the Ukrainian Armed Forces more closely with NATO’s standards including by increasing interoperability between Allied and Ukrainian forces. In this context, Allied Defence Ministers invited Ukraine to conduct, in consultation with Allies, the second Strategic Defence Review and to follow through with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence Headquarters review. We also emphasised the importance of providing adequate resources and planning to support necessary reforms.
- We further reviewed reform efforts undertaken by the Ukrainian Authorities in their wider security sector and stressed the strategic importance of security sector reform in Ukraine. In this regard, Allied Defence Ministers encouraged Ukraine to pay particular attention to reforms in its intelligence and security agencies and took note of Ukraine’s request for continued Allied assistance in implementing these reforms. We also encouraged Ukraine to enhance reform efforts including their implementation, and welcomed Ukraine’s determination to implement the National Security Strategy of Ukraine as an integral part of its National Security Sector Review. Allied Defence Ministers also welcomed Ukraine’s efforts aimed at providing for better co-ordination of Euro-Atlantic integration efforts including through enhancing inter-agency co-ordination in managing reforms.
- Allied Defence Ministers also made it clear that NATO continues to support Ukraine in implementing defence and security sector reform efforts, in particular within the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defence Reform (JWGDR). In this respect, we welcomed progress the JWGDR has achieved in implementing a number of critically important programmes and initiatives including the JWGDR Programme for Professional Development of Civilian Personnel and the NATO-Ukraine Working Group on Civil and Democratic Control of the Intelligence Sector. We also look forward to the implementation of the defence and security-related actions contained in the Annual Target Plan 2008. We emphasised the continuing importance of NATO-Ukraine co-operation under the Planning and Review Process (PARP) and the Annual Military Committee with Ukraine Work Plan.
- We reaffirmed our support for efforts being undertaken with a view to managing consequences of defence and security sector reforms. In this regard, we welcomed the progress made in implementing the Programmes for Resettlement of Released Military Personnel in Ukraine, including the Khmelnitsky NATO/PfP Trust Fund, and underlined the importance of renewed work on the NATO/PfP Trust Fund for destruction project for surplus munitions, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS).
- Allied Defence Ministers encouraged Ukraine to continue to enhance public information efforts aimed at disseminating knowledge about NATO. These efforts include Ukraine’s defence and security sectors, its Armed Forces and other security personnel, while making the best use of the NATO-Ukraine Partnership Network for Civil Society Expertise Development.
- We appreciated the invitation extended by the Minister of Defence of Estonia to attend the 2008 High-Level NATO-Ukraine Consultations to be held on 12-13 November in Tallinn, which will help to advance the defence and security-related objectives of the intensive engagement with Ukraine.