at the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers in Berlin
We, the Foreign Ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, met today in Berlin to discuss current priorities of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO.
Foreign Minister Gryshchenko welcomed the adoption of NATO’s new Strategic Concept, and the prominent role it offers to Partners. Allied Ministers underscored the importance of NATO’s Distinctive Partnership with Ukraine, reaffirming that an independent, democratic and prosperous Ukraine is key to Euro-Atlantic security. They welcomed the commitment to furthering active political dialogue and practical cooperation expressed by President Yanukovych during the visit of the Secretary General to Kyiv in February.
We agreed that the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the Annual National Programme retain their central role in developing further NATO-Ukraine cooperation on the basis of shared values.
NATO Ministers welcomed the priority placed by the government of Ukraine on domestic reforms, looking forward to their effective implementation. They encouraged Ukraine’s comprehensive reforms in the sphere of strengthening democracy, including revised electoral legislation, the rule of law, and human rights and freedoms. They reaffirmed their readiness to assist Ukraine in reaching the goals outlined in the Annual National Programme for 2011.
NATO Ministers expressed their high appreciation for Ukraine’s contribution to Euro-Atlantic security, noting that Ukraine is the first Partner to participate in the NATO Response Force, and contributes to almost all NATO-led operations and missions. They called on Ukraine to consider a contribution to Ocean Shield and additional training assistance to Afghanistan.
Reaffirming our vision of a Euro-Atlantic area at peace, we stressed the importance of further consistent and constructive efforts in the 5+2 format of negotiation on the settlement of the Transdniester conflict.
Allies welcomed the OSCE Ministerial Council decision on Ukraine’s chairmanship in 2013, and looked forward to Ukraine’s continued contribution to promoting regional security.
They encouraged Ukraine to accelerate reforms to the security and defence sectors, assisted through the Military Committee with Ukraine Work Plan, the Planning and Review Process, the NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defence Reform, as well as the NATO Liaison Office in Kyiv, and expressed appreciation for Ukraine’s commitment to consult with Allies on key strategy and planning documents in this area.
We welcomed progress on the NATO/PfP Trust Funds in Ukraine, including completion of the first phase of the project on the destruction of small arms, as well as progress on the retraining and resettlement of released military personnel. We noted progress on the project on monitoring and forecasting the Prypyat River Basin, which flows through the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. We looked forward to the rapid conclusion of a risk assessment for the creation of a new trust fund on the disposal of radioactive sources.
Recalling the tragic consequences from the Chernobyl nuclear accident 25 years ago, we underscored the need for stronger international co-operation in the area of nuclear safety.
We also encouraged further progress in co-operation on emerging security challenges such as terrorism, proliferation, cyber defence and energy security. We noted the expansion of Ukraine’s participation in the Air Situation Data Exchange, cooperation on command, control and communications, and staff talks on missile defence held in March to provide an initial exchange of views on areas of potential cooperation.
We noted that existing cooperation on civil emergency planning holds potential for further development, and considered possible assistance from NATO in this area for the 2012 European football championship hosted by Ukraine and Poland.
We also encouraged further efforts to inform the Ukrainian public on NATO and NATO-Ukraine cooperation, including with the support of the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv.
We, the Foreign Ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, extended our gratitude to Germany for its hospitality.