Updated: 09-Jul-2002 NATO Speeches

9 July 2002

Remarks to the Press

by the Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson,
following the Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission

Special NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) meeting just concluded. We have had good, frank and substantive talks.

Today is the 5th anniversary of the Carter on Distinctive Partnership and we took stock of the achievements of the NUC and of the work ahead.

Full conclusions are in the NUC statement. Would like to highlight:

NATO appreciates Ukraine's strategic orientation and its aspirations to be part of the Euro-Atlantic mainstream. I want to assure the Ukrainian public that the Alliance looks favourably towards those aspirations.

But we need to realise that this is a long-term process. Focus now on preparing a deepened NATO-Ukraine relationship - in time for the summit meeting in November in Prague.

It is imperative that Ukraine demonstrates a sustained continuing commitment to implementation of political, economic and defence reforms, respect for human rights, the rule of law and full freedom of press.

Both, Ukraine and NATO have much to offer to each other, for example Ukrainian assets and capabilities for exercises and operations, your unique Antonov aircraft or your valuable contribution to the Alliance's stabilising role in the Balkans.

NATO is assisting in the difficult process of defence reform, comprising not just the armed forces, but the whole of your security sector.

We have also been encouraged by solid work in armaments related issues, civil emergency planning, science or economic-related activities. For example tomorrow, in Donetsk, I will have an opportunity to see at first hand a demonstration of mine destruction - part of the project co-financed by a number of Allies and managed by one of Alliance's agencies, NAMSA.

NATO Ambassadors and myself want to use our stay in Ukraine to engage as much as possible with the members of Ukrainian public, at the 5th anniversary conference today and in other Ukrainian cities - Kharkiv, Lviv and Donetsk.

NATO-Ukraine relationship has entered a new, even more dynamic phase.

But the rate of progress will depend primarily on Ukraine. It will be based on your needs and capabilities, your choice of priorities and your determination to proceed with necessary reforms. We are ready to go as far as Ukraine is willing and able to go. I am confident that it will be a road with a successful destination.

Thank you for your attention. The floor is yours Minister Zlenko.

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