|Updated: 05-Dec-2003||NATO Press Releases|
5 Dec. 2003
of the NATO-Ukraine Commission
The NATO-Ukraine Commission, including representatives of the seven Invitee nations, met today at the level of Foreign Ministers in Brussels.
In discussing the contribution of the NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area, Ministers emphasised their commitment to promote long term stability across the region, as well as their common interest in fighting the scourge of international terrorism. Allied Ministers welcomed the update given by Minister Gryshchenko regarding Ukraine's recent involvement in international efforts to support stability and security, and commended Ukraine's continuing practical contribution to KFOR and other ongoing operations.
In reviewing the status of NATO-Ukraine relations, Ministers welcomed the fact that NATO and Ukraine have taken their relationship to a qualitatively new level since adopting the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan a year ago in Prague. Minister Gryshchenko outlined Ukraine’s introduction of reforms in the political, economic, military and defence sphere which form part of Ukraine’s pursuit of full integration into Euro-Atlantic security structures, including its long-term goal of NATO membership. He emphasised that Ukraine would intensify its efforts to strengthen democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech and the media, the separation of powers, and judicial independence. He also emphasised that Ukraine will continue to carry forward its defence and security sector reforms in 2004, with the aim of creating a democratically controlled and effective defence and security system.
NATO Ministers expressed appreciation for Ukraine's efforts over the past year to implement the objectives of the Action Plan and the activities of the 2003 Annual Target Plan (ATP), while emphasising that more remains to be done to ensure the practical implementation of reforms. They called upon Ukraine to place particular emphasis on ensuring free and fair elections, guaranteeing media freedoms and rule of law, strengthening civil society and the judiciary, improving arms export controls, as well as making progress on and funding defence reform. They noted that further concrete progress in these areas would be key to ensuring Ukraine's success in the process of Euro-Atlantic integration. In this context, the Commission noted the Annual Report on progress made to achieve the objectives of the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan.
Ministers were also informed of the status of negotiations on the NATO-Ukraine Annual Target Plan for 2004, which will include the internal activities Ukraine plans to undertake over the coming year, as well as many of the NATO-Ukraine activities which are foreseen. In this regard, the NATO-Ukraine Commission at Ministerial level tasked NUC Ambassadors to continue to work towards the finalisation of the 2004 NATO-Ukraine Annual Target Plan.
Ministers concluded that NATO and Ukraine would continue to consolidate
the progress made to deepen and broaden the NATO-Ukraine relationship,
and to pursue policies of transparency and co-operation in matters of