Updated: 07-Jun-2001 Statement

7 June 2001


Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Defence Ministers held at NATO Headquarters

The NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) met today in Defence Ministerial Session at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Ministers reviewed the state of cooperation between NATO and Ukraine and discussed the contribution of the NATO-Ukraine distinctive partnership in supporting Ukraine's efforts to develop effective structures to meet its defence and security needs. The Commission noted the establishment of National Co-ordinators in Ukraine as a helpful tool to make this process more efficient, particularly in the field of defence reform.

The Commission noted Ukraine's continuing contribution to European security. NATO Ministers expressed appreciation for Ukraine's continued support for NATO-led operations in the Balkans and the participation of Ukrainian forces in the Polish-Ukrainian Battalion in KFOR. Allies noted the valuable contribution provided by the Ukrainian 14th Helicopter Detachment to KFOR. During its 18 months service, ending in March 2001, the 14th Helicopter Detachment conducted over 6,500 flight missions.

The Commission noted with satisfaction the status report on implementation of activities under the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Defence Reform. Ministers noted the wide range of activities including a series of roundtables on security and defence with Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada and ongoing discussions with the navy and border guard on maritime related issues. The Commission noted the offer of Canada to appoint an instructor to the newly established multinational faculty established at the Ukrainian National Defence Academy. Ministers also noted Ukraine's offer to host a PfP symposium on "The World in the 21st Century: Cooperation, Partnership and Dialogue" to take place on 5-6 July in Kyiv.

The Commission underlined the importance of the PfP Planning and Review Process as a useful tool to support Ukraine's defence reform efforts. Ministers noted the completion of an assessment of current capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces and of Ukraine's current reorganisation and restructuring plans. NATO Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to support defence reform and the efforts of the JWG. The Commission noted that nations were exploring options to reinforce these defence reform efforts by assigning senior officers of Allied nations to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence to assist Ukraine in areas such as force planning.

Ministers also underlined the importance of increased transparency and coordination in relation to the extensive bilateral programmes between Ukraine and NATO Allies and directed the Joint Working Group to follow up the results of the meeting held in London on 27 March 2001, aimed at maximising the value from the more than 600 bilateral activities currently scheduled. Ministers noted the offer of the Netherlands to provide an expert to support defence reform efforts within the Joint Working Group.

Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the important contribution of the NATO Liaison Office and the NATO Information and Documentation Centre to the implementation of Joint Working Group activities aimed at supporting defence reform and the wider programme of cooperation between NATO and Ukraine. Ministers also noted with satisfaction the contribution of the two Ukrainian officers posted to SACLANT and AFSOUTH headquarters and agreed to continue to examine measures aimed at further strengthening liaison and coordination arrangements.

Ministers noted the great value they place on the work of the Joint Working Group at Senior Level and agreed to review further progress on defence reform when they meet again in Autumn 2001.

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