|Updated: 01-Mar-2000||NATO Press Releases|
(2000) 020 1 March 2000
NATO - Ukraine Commission
The NATO-Ukraine Commission met on 1 March 2000 in Ambassadorial session in Kyiv. The present NUC meeting was the first to be held in Ukraine since the Charter on a distinctive partnership was signed in Madrid in 1997, thus making a new momentum in the NATO-Ukraine distinctive partnership. A welcoming address by President Leonid Kuchma, emphasising that the NATO-Ukraine partnership has already made an important contribution to the broader Euro-Atlantic cooperation, was delivered to the meeting by Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk who led the Ukrainian delegation.
The Commission discussed prospects for enhancing the NATO-Ukraine distinctive partnership in the context of integration processes in Europe. The members of the Commission acknowledged the strategic nature of the NATO-Ukraine relationship and welcomed Ukraine's consistent efforts to develop closer ties with the Alliance.
The Commission reviewed the situation in the Balkans. While expressing special appreciation of KFOR's efforts in bringing stability to Kosovo, members of the Commission unanimously condemned ongoing acts of ethnically motivated violence in the province. They strongly appealed to all ethnic communities in Kosovo to demonstrate mutual tolerance and readiness to cooperate with each other and the international community in renewing stability in the region. Ukraine and NATO confirmed their determination to continue their close cooperation within KFOR to restore security in Kosovo. They reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of UNSCR 1244 as a firm basis for a democratic and multi-ethnic Kosovo within the FRY.
The Commission welcomed the results of the recent visit to Moscow by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson and underlined that NATO-Russia cooperation within the framework of the Founding Act plays a crucial role for European security.
The results of the recent visit of the Secretary General of NATO to Ukraine were reviewed. The Commission welcomed the appointment of a permanent Head of the NATO Liaison Office to Ukraine and the invitation for top graduates from the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the National Defence Academy of Ukraine to visit NATO HQ and SHAPE. The Ukrainian side has taken due note of the emphasis placed by Allies during the visit on the problems of defence reform and expressed its readiness to enhance this dialogue in the framework of the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform and in the context of implementation of the Ukrainian National Programme for Cooperation with NATO to the year 2001. NATO took note of Ukraine's proposals on the further strengthening of NATO-Ukraine cooperation.
Recent major events in NATO-Ukraine cooperation during the last two months included, inter alia, a visit to Ukraine by Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Clark; a visit by a senior military delegation to Yavoriv; a NATO-Ukraine expert meeting on proliferation of WMD; an international seminar on "Ukrainian Defence Reform: the Challenge of Change". Two Ukrainian officers have been nominated by the NATO Military Committee to headquarters at SACLANT and AFSOUTH. All of these are, together with the strong information efforts by the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv, evidence of the deepening of the NATO-Ukraine distinctive partnership.
The Commission welcomed the effective cooperation between Ukraine and NATO in virtually every aspect of Civil Emergency Planning and disaster preparedness. In addition to co-operative activities carried out under the auspices of the NATO-Ukraine Charter and the EAPC, there has been extensive Ukrainian co-operation with NATO in response to real-life disasters. Ukraine is continuing to work with the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre in identifying the Ukrainian military and civil defence assets which might be made available to the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Unit to enable it to better respond to future emergencies.
The Commission also noted that language retraining courses for retired military personnel present a unique example of fruitful and result-oriented cooperation.
The Commission expressed its appreciation that a number of promising projects are being developed under "Science for Peace" and the Committee on Challenges of Modern Society programmes. The NATO Scientific exhibition in the Institute of International Relations of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University presents far-reaching prospects of this cooperation.
NATO Allies expressed their gratitude for the warm Ukrainian hospitality and wished the Ukrainian people further success in building a democratic and prosperous Ukraine as an integral part of a stable and undivided Europe.