|Updated: 06-May-2002||NATO Press Releases|
of the NATO-Ukraine Commission
The NATO-Ukraine Commission met on 25 May 2000 in Foreign Ministers session in Florence.
Ministers welcomed the positive development of the distinctive partnership between NATO and Ukraine since their last meeting, as reflected, in particular, by the first ever session of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at Ambassadorial level in Kyiv in March 2000 and, most recently, by the meeting of the Prime Minister of Ukraine with the Secretary General of NATO in Brussels.
The Members of the Commission took positive note of the support by Ukraine of the decisions of the North Atlantic Council in Foreign Ministers session on 24 May 2000. Allied Ministers took note of Ukraine's interest in the process related to developing an effective ESDI as well as in the development of NATO-EU consultative arrangements.
Minister Tarasyuk informed the Commission of the latest steps in implementing Ukraine's policy of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. The Commission expressed its appreciation of the continuing efforts of President Leonid Kuchma and the Government of Ukraine to take this process further.
Ministers discussed the security situation in the Euro-Atlantic area. They welcomed the contribution of the NATO-Ukraine partnership to European security, in particular through Ukraine's successful participation in the PfP programme. The recent ratification of the SOFA by the Verkhovna Rada will further enhance Ukraine's contribution to PfP. Ministers expressed support for defence reform in Ukraine and urged Ukraine to take this process forward.
Ministers addressed issues of regional security, including in the Balkans and the Caucasus and noted a broad convergence of views.
Ministers reviewed the situation in Kosovo. They noted the significant progress achieved one year after the deployment of KFOR and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). While the security situation had improved, much remained to be done, in particular with regard to the protection of ethnic groups and minorities. Ministers appealed to all ethnic communities to put an end to violence and to support a multi-ethnic and democratic Kosovo within the FRY based on the rule of law, tolerance and respect for human rights. Ministers expressed their concern about continued violence in the area adjacent to the administrative boundary between Kosovo and Serbia and fully supported KFOR's action to strengthen its control of Kosovo's borders and administrative boundaries and its firm action against those who wish to use Kosovo as a base from which to export violence.
Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of UNSCR 1244. Ministers were fully satisfied with the status of NATO-Ukraine cooperation in KFOR and welcomed the upcoming deployment of the Polish-Ukrainian Battalion in Kosovo in July.
The Commission positively assessed the implementation of the NATO-Ukraine Work Plan for the year 2000 and discussed priorities for the remainder of the year. Ministers welcomed the upcoming PfP exercise "Cooperative Partner 2000", hosted by Ukraine from 19-30 June and the preparation for the first exercise of the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Unit in Ukraine in September. Ministers also expressed their satisfaction with the cooperative activities in the economic, scientific and information fields and stressed the important role of the NATO Information and Documentation Centre and the NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine in this regard. They welcomed Ukraine's decision to post officers to Partnership Staff Elements in the near future.
The Commission noted the Action Plan, approved by NATO and Ukraine, on the "Status and Main Directions of Development of NATO-Ukraine Cooperation in the field of Armaments".
The Commission welcomed the meeting of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council in Foreign Ministers session held yesterday.
Ministers expressed their gratitude to the Italian authorities for their warm hospitality.