29 May 1998

Press Statement

NATO-Ukraine Commission Meeting
At Ministerial Level Luxembourg, 29 May 1998

The Foreign Ministers of NATO and Ukraine met today as the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which was established in Madrid at the time of the signing of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine. This was the second ministerial meeting, after the one last December in Brussels. The Commission, created by the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine, confirmed its role as an effective instrument to consult and to monitor the implementation of the wide-reaching cooperation program enshrined in the Charter itself.

Ministers reviewed the implementation of the NATO-Ukraine Charter, and noted that, exactly one year after they initialled the NATO-Ukraine Charter in Sintra, much progress can be recorded in the development of the NATO-Ukraine distinctive partnership.

In particular, they welcomed the launching in February of the NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defense Reform, which will complement Ukraine's participation in PfP by addressing issues such as civil military relations, military reform and resource planning and management. This group will thus play a significant role in the on-going overall defense reform process in Ukraine.

They recalled the 26 March 1998 consultations in the NUC (at Ambassadors level) on cooperation in peacekeeping, as well as the approval of the Ukrainian IPP for 1998-2000 on 18 May and the creation of the Working Group on Civil Emergency Planning, which followed the signing of an MOU on Civil Emergency Planning and Disaster Preparedness at their last meeting in December.

NATO Ministers also expressed their satisfaction that the Ukrainian military representative to NATO arrived in January to formally activate the liaison mission whose establishment as part of the Ukrainian mission to NATO had been previously announced by the Chief of Defense Staff in December 1997, and recalled the meeting of the NATO Military Committee with Ukraine in Chiefs of Staff session on 6 May.

Ministers agreed in principle that a NATO liaison officer will be stationed in Kyiv, to facilitate the full participation by the Ukrainian military in PfP and, more generally, to enhance the cooperation between NATO and the Ukrainian military authorities, as set out in the NATO/Ukraine Charter.

Ministers stressed the importance of effective implementation of the Charter and the annual Work Plan and agreed to discuss further the question of financing cooperation activities. NATO Ministers welcomed Ukraine's initiative on establishing Regional training centre on the basis of Yavoriv training area and are studying the possibilities for realisation of this project, along with those proposed by others in the context of regional cooperation.

Ministers noted that the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv, which Secretary General Solana opened a year ago, continues to play an important role in enhancing information efforts in Ukraine.

Ministers reiterated their commitment to full implementation of Ukraine-NATO Work Plan for 1998. They also agreed to continue in the second half of 1998 the practice of fruitful informal discussions between the State Interagency Commission and NATO's Political Committee, launched with meetings in Kyiv and Brussels earlier in 1998.

Ministers also held a wider political consultation on the role of NATO-Ukraine distinctive partnership as a contribution to Euro-Atlantic security and in the context of Ukraine's policy of integration into European and Trans-Atlantic structures. Noting the wide range of practical proposals discussed in this regard, they expressed their conviction that the further dynamic development of NATO-Ukraine relations will make a key contribution to enhancing security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region. NATO Ministers expressed their full appreciation for Ukraine's strategic course of integration into European and Trans-Atlantic structures and reaffirmed their conviction that an independent stable and democratic Ukraine is one of the key factors for ensuring stability in Central and Eastern Europe, and the continent as a whole.

Ministers of NATO and Ukraine condemned the recent nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan. Ministers urged India and Pakistan to refrain from further tests and the deployment of nuclear weapons and their delivery means and called for both countries to adhere unconditionally to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and to enter into negotiations on a global treaty to stop the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine fully associated himself with the positions taken by the Alliance in this respect. NATO Ministers recalled that Ukraine's landmark decision to renounce nuclear weapons and to accede to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state, greatly contributed to the strengthening of security and stability in Europe and has earned Ukraine special stature in the world community.

Ministers agreed to meet again in Brussels in December 1998.

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