Ministers reinforce cooperation in NATO-Ukraine Commission
NATO and Ukraine reinforced their cooperation at a meeting of defence ministers in the NATO-Ukraine Commission on Friday 22 February. “NATO and Ukraine are key security partners. For many years, Ukraine has made substantial and very welcome contributions to all major NATO-led operations, including our engagement in Afghanistan,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who chaired the meeting.
The Secretary General and Ukrainian Defence Minister Pavlo Lebedev signed an exchange of letters confirming Ukraine’s intent to contribute a frigate and helicopter to NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield, which fights piracy off the coast of Somalia.
The exchange of letters serves to confirm Ukraine's offer, and NATO's readiness to proceed to the last stage of technical certification which is necessary to make sure that the Ukrainian contribution is capable of operating effectively with NATO vessels.
Ukraine also contributes to the NATO-led missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and has committed to the NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces after the end of the ISAF mission in 2014.
NATO provides significant support to Ukraine’s ongoing reforms of the defence and security sector. These reforms are to make the sector more modern, better managed and more democratically accountable.
Ministers agreed on a set of priorities to guide cooperation over the next five years, including in training and exercises. Further, they agreed to extend a trust fund which provides re-training to former military officers in Ukraine, and took forward work on a trust fund to support the neutralisation of radioactive sources from former-Soviet military sites.
“We are also committed to supporting Ukraine’s other reform efforts. In particular, the determined implementation of reforms to reinforce democracy and the rule of law would benefit the people of Ukraine and the whole Euro-Atlantic community,” the Secretary General said.