H.E. Ambassador Volodymyr Khandogiy
Deputy Head of Ukraine's delegation,
Head of Mission of Ukraine to NATO
at the EAPC Foreign Ministers Meeting
Current Security Challenges in the Euro-Atlantic Area
Mr. Secretary General, Your Excellencies, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
This meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council at ministerial
level has a special significance. We gathered today three months after
the barbaric acts of terrorism committed on September 11 in New York and
Washington. Using this opportunity I would like to express once again
deepest condolences to the United States Government and to all those affected
by this tragedy.
Ukraine strongly condemns these acts of terrorism as a manifestation
of aggression not against a separate country but against the entire international
community. We stand for uniting efforts and utilizing wide range of tools,
first of all diplomatic, political and economic means to fight this horrible
Settlement by multilateral efforts of regional conflicts, economic backwardness,
interethnic and inter-religious understanding is an important precondition
of complete elimination of terrorist threat. We should eradicate the very
roots of terrorism and its manifestations. The methods of fight against
terrorism have to be targeted, well-prepared, balanced, and adequate to
Today's situation in Afghanistan continues to cause serious concern and
despite efforts being taken by the international community remains very
complicated and unpredictable. Everybody understands that stability and
security in Central Asia as well as in the Euro-Atlantic area as a whole
depends in many respects on the development of the situation in Afghanistan.
Since recently we began facing new risks and challenges, including terrorism
in all forms and manifestations, religious extremism, organized crime
and illegal drug trafficking. They threaten every member of the international
community and therefore we have to counter them together. EAPC along with
PfP can make a substantial contribution to address these challenges, complementing
the efforts of the other international organizations. In view of Ukraine,
we should utilize more actively potential of EAPC, which together with
the UN, OSCE and other regional organizations could be instrumental.
Ukraine's position remains unchanged: all-European security architecture
should be based on already existing institutions - UN, NATO, EU, OSCE,
Council of Europe - with due account of political processes under way
on the continent. Ukraine strongly supports processes of the interaction
of all European organizations and security structures on the basis of
their mutual reinforcement and partnership. While supporting these objective
processes Ukraine considers NATO as one of the main elements of the European
In this context today no one can overestimate the importance of NATO/EAPC-OSCE
and further deepening of the NATO-EU co-operation in the security sphere,
practical co-operation of these organizations in the Balkans. The development
of common European security and defense capabilities, the creation of
the European Rapid Reaction Force and the NATO-EU practical cooperation
became crucially important practical elements of the all-European integration.
It is very important as well for Ukraine, whose policy for Euro-Atlantic
integration is one of the main directions of our strategic course toward
For us Euro-Atlantic integration means policy, aimed, first of all, at
deepening of a distinctive partnership with NATO, one of the most important
pillar of the united European house, the strongest link of all-European
The situation in the Balkans remains to be a major concern for Ukraine.
Together with the Alliance and Partner-countries Ukraine is fully involved
in international efforts to resolve the Balkan crises, in particular through
participation of Ukrainian peacekeepers in NATO-led operation in Kosovo.
The NATO-Ukraine co-operation in peacekeeping in the Balkans remains to
be a major part of the NATO-Ukraine overall relations and most visible
joint contribution to the European security.
Ukraine welcomes the results of the general elections in Kosovo on November
17, 2001 and considers them as a good sign of the improvement of the general
situation in this province of the FRY. Co-operation between KFOR, OSCE
and UN Missions in Kosovo proved to be an efficient mechanism to menage
and improve security situation in the region. The outcome of the elections
is the most convincing evidence of the peace-making potential of NATO,
UN, OSCE in terms of partners' combined efforts based on available assets
and strong political will.
Ukraine also welcomes latest developments in the former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia. This country is situated in the region, which is very close
to Ukraine not only from the geographical point of view, but also in the
historical, social, cultural and religious sense. Ukraine has always supported
the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Macedonia. The political
and other support of the legitimate Government of Macedonia, which represents
interests of all national groups of its population, is the principled
direction of Ukraine's foreign policy.
The historic vote of the Parliament of Macedonia for amendments to Constitution
in accordance with the general Framework Agreement as well as the Amnesty'
decision open new page of the modern history of this country.
Speaking about current security challenges in the Euro-Atlantic area
I should underline that in spite of the overall improvement of European
security environment, the security situation in some regions of Euro-Atlantic
area continues to be tense, fragile and unpredictable. Despite the efforts
of the international community there is no real and qualitative breakthrough
in potentially unsecured zones of the so called "frozen conflicts"
in Transdnistriya, Abchaziya, Nahorno-Karabakh.
Euro-Atlantic security should not and cannot be fragmented. It is perceived
and pursued globally, with its various regionally focused aspects, which
are mutually complementary. Latest developments in many regions of the
Euro-Atlantic area and not only Central Asia but also in the Balkans,
demonstrated the need for a more focused approach on regional problems
and concerns. Ukraine, fully supporting this approach, welcomes the development
of the EAPC Action Plan, its regional orientation, especially EAPC/PfP
activities in the sphere of the international fight against terrorism.
Ukraine reaffirms its readiness to contribute to the enhancement of the
Action Plan activities.
At conclusion, I would like to welcome results of the consultations and
discussions for the further development of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership
Council as a forum of political dialogue and framework of practical cooperation.
EAPC, together with the Partnership for Peace, continues to provide their
participants with excellent opportunities to exchange views and to work
together, promote cooperation and to build transparency and mutual understanding,
thus offering suitable platform for relations to further develop and security
to be strengthened.
Next year we will be on the last lap of preparation for the NATO/EAPC
Summit in Prague. Important decisions will be taken. With regard to the
enlargement I would like to underline that Ukraine welcomes this process
as an important part of an overall European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
As a clear sign of continuation of the NATO's "open door" policy.
We consider it of principal importance that every country has a right
to take independent decisions in that regard. Ukraine also stresses the
importance for NATO to follow this "open door" policy in the
future as well, to avoid forming new dividing lines and spheres of influence.
In this regard we also underline the necessity of full adherence to the
criteria of membership elaborated by NATO before the first wave of enlargement.
The NATO enlargement, the deepening of the regional cooperation within
the EAPC and more active Euro-Atlantic integration process should be on
the list of the EAPC summit decisions to further bolster the security
and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.