Updated: 15-May-2002 NATO Press Releases

(2002) 062
15 may 2002

Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission
in Foreign Ministers'Session

The NATO-Ukraine Commission met at the level of Foreign Ministers in Reykjavik on 15 May.

While reviewing the evolving security situation in the Euro-Atlantic area, Ministers paid tribute to the strategic nature of the Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine, and underlined Ukraine's and NATO's desire to take their relationship forward to a qualitatively new level, including through intensified consultations and cooperation on political, economic and defence issues.

To that end, the NATO-Ukraine Commission at Ministerial level has tasked Ambassadors to explore and develop, in the coming months, building on the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, a deepened and broadened NATO-Ukraine relationship. Ministers intend that a reinforced relationship be defined in time for, or prior to, the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, at the level of Heads of State and Government, in Prague in November 2002.

Allied Ministers welcomed the statement by Minister Zlenko that NATO enlargement is an important feature for the strengthening of European security, and that NATO's open-door policy is one of the major elements of overall European integration processes which enhance the level of national security of Ukraine in the context of the Euro-Atlantic integration policy of Ukraine.

Allied Ministers commended Ukraine's practical contribution to Allied efforts in the international fight against terrorism, including active involvement of Ukraine's military transport aviation for deployment of Allied troops in Afghanistan, and the opening of its air space to Allied aircraft participating in the anti-terrorist campaign.

NATO and Ukraine emphasised their commitment to promote long term stability in the Balkans through regional reconciliation and cooperation, goodneighbourliness, stable and secure borders, protection of the rights of members of ethnic groups and minorities, confidence building measures, and a lasting resolution to the problem of refugees and displaced persons. While expressing special appreciation of KFOR's efforts in bringing stability to Kosovo, NATO Ministers welcomed Ukraine's decision to continue its contribution to KFOR through Ukraine's component of the Polish-Ukrainian Battalion.

The Commission welcomed the approval by the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers yesterday, of a document on the creation of a new NATO-Russia Council.

Ministers noted the implementation of the NATO-Ukraine Work Plan for the year 2002. They welcomed the progress made in the area of defence reform, as well as the productive NATO-Ukraine political consultations on the Balkans on 5 February 2002, and during the special meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission with the participation of the Prime Minister of Ukraine on 1 March 2002.

Ministers confirmed that the next meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission in ambassadorial session will take place in Kyiv on 9 July 2002 to mark the 5th Anniversary of the NATO-Ukraine Charter, and take stock of achievements to date. Ambassadors will also review the progress made in the follow-up to today's tasking, in preparing the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Heads of State and Government in Prague in November 2002.

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