Updated: 12-Jun-2003 NATO Press Releases


12 June 2003


Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission
in Defence Ministers’ Session
NATO Headquarters, Brussels, 12 June 2003

The NATO-Ukraine Commission met today in Defence Ministerial Session at NATO Headquarters. Ministers discussed the contribution of the NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and reviewed the implementation of defence and security sector aspects of the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan and Annual Target Plan 2003 (ATP) including the efforts of the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform (JWGDR).

Minister Shkidchenko outlined Ukraine’s ongoing efforts to carry forward its defence and security sector reforms aimed at providing a democratically controlled and cost-effective organization able to ensure its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to contribute to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO Ministers welcomed the effort that Ukraine has made to implement its commitments made in Prague, but also agreed that much more remains to be done.

While emphasizing that defence and security sector reform is a national responsibility, Allied Ministers reaffirmed support for Ukraine’s actions and agreed to continue efforts aimed at strengthening the link between bilateral cooperation and NATO-Ukraine initiatives such as those developed under the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform (JWGDR). In this context, nations noted with appreciation the offer of Poland that an informal event for Ministers be conducted in Poland in 2004 along the lines of the successful informal consultations conducted in Washington on 4-5 May 2003.

Ministers noted with satisfaction that the PfP Trust Fund Project, led by Canada, for the destruction of 400,000 anti-personnel land mines had been completed in Donetsk on 27 May 2003. They welcomed the efforts led by Greece to prepare a feasibility study for a further trust fund project aimed at the safe destruction of 133,000 tons of surplus munitions and 1.5 million small arms and light weapons. Ministers also noted the report from SACLANT and Ukraine on progress made in the development of a MOU on Strategic Airlift.

The Commission noted the Co-Chairmen's report of the recent semi-annual assessment meeting held on the implementation of the Action Plan and ATP 2003 and the PfP Planning and Review Assessment for 2003.

Ministers discussed the progress of NATO-led operations in the Balkans and expressed particular appreciation for the contribution of the Polish-Ukraine Battalion and the Belgian-Luxembourg-Romanian-Ukrainian multinational battle group BELUKROKO. Allied Ministers also commended Ukraine’s contribution to the fight against terrorism, including Ukraine’s assistance to Afghanistan, and welcomed Ukraine’s intention to contribute to stabilization efforts in Iraq.

The Commission also commended the contributions to NATO-Ukraine cooperation made by the NATO Liaison Office and the NATO Information and Documentation Centre, both located in Kyiv.

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