Updated: 06-Dec-2001 NATO Speeches

6 Dec. 2001


by NATO Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson,
at the Joint Point de Presse
with the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Mr. Anatoliy Zlenko

Much has happened since our last meeting in Budapest. First of all, following the September 11 attacks, Ukraine has stood shoulder to shoulder with the Allies and other partners in the campaign against terrorism.

Second, we were able to review today an impressive level of dialogue and cooperation between NATO and Ukraine, and the role of our Distinctive Partnership, especially in strengthening stability and security in the Balkans.

We are proud of our achievements, but this is not the time for complacency, impatience or disengagement. The Balkans remains an area of sensitivity and we stand close together in what we do.

We have stepped up the intensity and scope of concrete cooperative projects. The Work Plan for 2002 offers a rich and promising menu. This was illustrated today at the beginning of the ministerial meeting through the signing of a “Memorandum of understanding between Ukraine and the NATO Maintenance and Supply Organisation (NAMSO)”. This important project involves the destruction of over 400,000 landmines in Ukraine, to be managed with the assistance of NATO’s largest agency NAMSO and financial support from Canada, Hungary and Poland.

Finally, we strongly reaffirmed our political determination to ensure that NATO-Ukraine relationship has a solid future. Ukraine matters to NATO. The Allies consider that its independence and prosperity are essential elements of European security and stability. A prosperous and fully democratic Ukraine, living in peace with its neighbours, will always be a valued partner and friend of NATO.

I am therefore delighted to welcome, among his many friends, Foreign Minister Zlenko and to thank him for the contribution he has made for today’s NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting.

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