Updated: 07-May-2002 Press Releases

(2001) 078
30 May 2001


Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission
at the level of Foreign Ministers

The NATO-Ukraine Commission met today in Foreign Ministers' session in Budapest. Ministers reviewed the state of cooperation between NATO and Ukraine, and discussed the contribution of the NATO-Ukraine distinctive partnership to overall European security, and specifically in the Balkans. Ministers welcomed the continuing qualitative development of the distinctive partnership, as reflected inter alia in two recent sessions of NATO-Ukraine Commission at Ambassadorial level on 25 April and 4 May 2001. They stressed that this partnership is an evolving, dynamic process which will further grow over time. Ministers welcomed the adoption in January 2001 of the State Program of Cooperation of Ukraine with NATO for 2001-2004, which contains a variety of promising new projects and is aimed at the full implementation of the Charter. The Commission noted that the establishment of National Coordinators in Ukraine was a helpful tool to make this process more efficient, particularly in the field of defence reform.

The Commission noted that the progressive strengthening of the NATO-Ukraine distinctive partnership will contribute to the full-fledged participation of Ukraine in the overall process of European integration and in the evolving European security architecture. Allies welcomed Ukraine's interest in discussing the implications for its security of the on-going development of the NATO-EU dialogue. In this context, the Ukrainian side expressed its satisfaction that the further development of NATO-EU relations will contribute to overall European security and that an effective ESDI needs the support of all European countries.

Members of the Commission supported Ukraine's strong commitment to developing good neighbourly relations, strengthening regional cooperation and promoting stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area. The Commission also noted that NATO-Ukraine consultations and cooperation aim at promoting stability and security, as well as democratic values, freedoms, human rights and the rule of law throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

Minister Zlenko informed the Commission of the approval by the Verkhovna Rada of Anatolyi Kinakh as the new Prime Minister of Ukraine, and of his programme to continue economic and democratic reforms. The Commission welcomed Prime Minister Kinakh's statement that he intends to take the reform process forward.

Minister Zlenko also informed the Commission of the latest steps taken in implementing Ukraine's policy of European integration and of broadening NATO-Ukraine relations on the basis of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership. The Commission expressed its appreciation of the continuing efforts of President Leonid Kuchma and the Government of Ukraine to take the process further.

The Commission discussed the security situation in the Balkans, and expressed deep concern about recent acts of violence by extremists in the northern part of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(1) . In this context Ministers reaffirmed their strong support for FYROM's territorial integrity and sovereignty. The Commission reiterated its support for the cooperation of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(1) with NATO and the EU to end the violence. They welcomed the on-going efforts made by the democratic government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that could potentially enhance stability across the region in general and in Southern Serbia in particular, taking into account the rights of all inhabitants in that area.

Ministers encouraged all parties concerned to continue to build a democratic and multi-ethnic Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to the full implementation of UNSCR 1244, to ensure a multi-ethnic and democratic Kosovo within the FRY. NATO Ministers welcomed Ukraine's continuing contribution to KFOR through the Ukrainian component of the Polish-Ukrainian Battalion.

Ministers positively assessed on-going progress in the implementation of the NATO-Ukraine Work Plan for 2001, and discussed priorities for the remainder of the year. Ministers welcomed the substantive progress made by the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform, and especially in the use of the PfP Planning and Review Process as a tool to support its work. They expressed satisfaction with the achievements of the retraining program for retired officers.

Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the work of both the NATO Information and Documentation Centre and the NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine and agreed to continue actively to support them in fulfilling their respective missions. The Commission discussed possible joint efforts toward the reinforcement of the two offices as future commitments may require.

NATO and Ukraine intend to continue to support the further strengthening of consultation, cooperation, transparency and confidence within the EAPC, using various appropriate formats. In this context, the Commission welcomed the joint effort by Ukraine and Turkey to promote the EAPC potential for non-military cooperation.

Minister Zlenko expressed his gratitude for the prompt and effective reaction of the NATO Allies, EAPC countries and Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre to the urgent request of Ukraine in connection with the flood in Trans-Carpathia in March 2001. In this context Ministers underlined the importance of quickly launching the NATO-Ukraine Pilot Project on the flood prevention with the participation of Moldova, Romania and Slovakia.

The Commission agreed to hold next meeting in Foreign Ministers session in Brussels in December 2001.

1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

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