The NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) is the decision-making body responsible for developing the NATO-Ukraine relationship and for directing cooperative activities. It also provides a forum for consultation between the Allies and Ukraine on security issues of common concern.
The NUC was established by the NATO-Ukraine Charter on a Distinctive Partnership signed by Ukrainian and Allied Heads of State and Government in Madrid on 9 July 1997. Its task is to ensure proper implementation of the Charter’s provisions, broadly assess the development of the NATO-Ukraine relationship, survey planning for future activities, and suggest ways to improve or further develop cooperation.
The work of the NUC
The NUC provides a forum for consultation between the Allies and Ukraine on security issues of common concern, including the current crisis in Ukraine. On 2 March 2014, Allies and Ukraine convened an extraordinary meeting of the NUC. At their meeting in April 2014, Foreign Ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Commission condemned Russia’s illegal and illegitimate “annexation” of Crimea and stated that NATO and Ukraine would intensify cooperation and promote defence reforms through capacity building and capability development programmes.
Other subjects are also discussed within the framework of the NUC such as the situation in the Balkans; the fight against terrorism; frozen conflicts and other regional security issues; and formerly, the situation in Afghanistan.
In December 2008, NATO foreign ministers decided to further enhance work under the NUC through the development of an Annual National Programme (ANP).
The NUC also keeps under review Ukraine’s activities in the Partnership for Peace programme, in the military sphere under the Military Committee and the Ukraine Annual Work Plan.
Joint working groups have been set up under the auspices of the NUC to take work forward in specific areas, namely defence and security sector reform, armaments, economic security, scientific and environmental cooperation. These working groups, along with NATO committees in NUC format, prepare senior-level meetings of the NUC.
All NATO member states and Ukraine are represented in the NUC, which meets regularly at the level of ambassadors and military representatives, as well as periodically at the level of foreign and defence ministers and chiefs of staff, and occasionally at summit level, involving Heads of State and Government.
Senior-level meetings of the NUC are prepared by the Political Committee in NUC format, which also serves as the site for ongoing exchanges on political and security issues of common interest, and the preparation and assessment of Ukraine’s programmes of cooperation with NATO.