Updated: 24-Sep-2002 NATO Speeches

Euro-Atlantic Partnership
25 May 2000


by H.E. Borys Tarasyuk,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Dear Secretary General,
Your Excellencies,

First I have to inform EAPC partners that today Ukraine and NATO had another fruitful meeting within Ukraine-NATO Commission, the results of which are presented in the NUC Statement. Second, let me state that Ukraine fully shares the decisions reflected in yesterday's NAC Communique. In this context I would like to express Ukraine's support to the initiative announced at yesterday's NAC meeting by Mme. Albright concerning an overall framework for NATO-EU interaction, including meetings between the NAC and equivalent EU bodies. Already at this stage we voice our strong interest in being involved in the activities of such forum.

I cannot also but welcome yesterday's PJC meeting bringing NATO-Russia cooperation back to the mainstream of the Founding Act.

I would like also to thank our honorary guest speaker, Special Coordinator on Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe Mr. Hombach, for his most valuable briefing. Ukraine shares the approach that the EAPC has a substantial role to play in fostering political, economic, judicial, humanitarian and other non-military aspects of stability on the Balkans and throughout the EAPC area.

However, the lessons learned from Kosovo demonstrated that it is impossible to find a universal model for effective settlements of the crises. In this regard Ukraine welcomed the ambitious EAPC Action Plan 2000-2001 aimed at avoiding future and reducing the current risks to European stability by means of preventive diplomacy.

Ukraine fully appreciates KFOR achievements in restoring peace in the province, though we should admit that the ultimate goal of building a democratic and multiethnic Kosovo is still rather distant. The problem of refugees, promotion of democratic institutions, judicial and law-enforcement system and combating crime remain at the top of the agenda. I want to use this opportunity to reiterate Ukraine's commitment to continue its active contribution to NATO-led KFOR and also to increasing its contribution to UNMIC with 110 more civil policemen in addition to 30 in place. No doubt, that the real long-term stability may be reached only if all the countries of the region are engaged in confidence-building and economic recovery. In this regard I am pleased to welcome Croatia as a new member the EAPC.

The EAPC and operational PfP have a solid potential for consolidating Euro-Atlantic efforts in conflict prevention and crisis management. We support the Operational Capabilities Concept that will reinforce PfP's operational capabilities and improve NATO ability to generate tailored forces to conduct NATO-led PfP operations.

Apart from Balkans issues I would like to mention civil emergency planning where EAPC contribution in terms of crisis management is particularly valuable. Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center (EADRCC) proved to be an efficient instrument of coordinating international efforts in this field. And Ukraine is most active in this field of practical cooperation with the Alliance.

Besides, together with Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, Ukraine reached an agreement to create the "Tisza" engineer battalion that would deal with the natural disaster relief, theUkrainian part of the battalion is ready to accomplish its missions. We hope that tomorrow, ay a meeting of the Defence Ministers of four countries our partners would be able to confirm readiness of the other three parts of the battalion. We also continue preparations for a disaster relief exercise to take place in Ukraine on 23-25 September 2000 with the involvement of EADRCC and EADRU. We look forward to hosting this event and hope for active participation of NATO and Partner countries.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the importance of ratification of SOFA by the Parliament of Ukraine. It opened the way to full engagement of the Yavoriv PfP Training Center for joint PfP activities. All NATO members and partners are welcome to make use of its unique operational capabilities.

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