Ukraine, capabilities, and Afghanistan focus of NATO Defence Ministerial
The situation in Ukraine, as well as NATO’s defence capabilities and mission in Afghanistan are top of the agenda at a two-day meeting of NATO defence ministers which starts on Wednesday (26 February 2014). The ministers will pave the way for the NATO Summit in Wales in September.
The first working session will focus on capabilities. Ministers will assess progress in key capability areas as part of their regular review, as well as next steps to fill the gaps. The second working session will look at defence capacity building, ways to enhance cyber defence and maritime security, as ensuring future interoperability among Allies and with partners in the framework of the Connected Forces Initiative. Over a working dinner, NATO defence ministers will discuss recent political developments in Ukraine and the way forward in Afghanistan.
On Thursday, ministers will meet with counterparts from partner countries which contribute to the ISAF mission. Afghanistan’s Defence Minister Bismullah Khan Muhammadi, the UN Secretary General’s Special representative Jan Kubis and the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton have also been invited. The ministerial will wrap up with a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission. The Ukrainian delegation will be headed by the First Deputy Minister of Defence Oleksandr Oliynyk. Ukraine is a long-standing NATO partner and has taken part in all Alliance operations.