Updated: 05-Dec-2003 NATO Speeches


5 Dec. 2003


by Lord Robertson at the Joint point de presse with Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Mr. Kostantyn Gryshchenko following the Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the Level of Foreign Ministers

Ladies and gentlemen,

I have the pleasure to address you jointly this morning with Minister Gryshchenko of Ukraine, who has just attended his first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission as Foreign Minister of Ukraine. Kostantyn is no stranger to this building, where he spent a number of years as his country’s ambassador.

This morning’s meeting was frank, concrete and productive. Allies praised Ukraine’s practical and operational contribution to addressing common security challenges.

This contribution includes participation of Ukraine in multinational stabilisation missions, including in the Balkans and Iraq. It also involves sharing responsibilities in international fight against terrorism, as well as contributing to regional security by maintaining a good-neighbourhood policy.

We also reviewed the implementation of this year’s programmes. Appreciation was shown for Ukraine's efforts to accelerate the work required to turn its Euro-Atlantic integration ambitions into reality. This work means changing laws, changing practices and, above all, making a political commitment to implementing these changes.

A qualitative improvement was clearly noted, but much remains to be done.

In a spirit of transparency and of friendly encouragement, Allies pointed out a number of areas where serious improvements are needed. These areas included ensuring a free and fair electoral process, media freedom, the rule of law and effective export controls. Achieving results would truly demonsrate Ukraine's commitment to our common Euro-Atlantic values and international standards.

In pursuit of that goal, Ministers provided additional guidance to NUC Ambassadors to finalise the NATO-Ukraine Annual Target Plan for 2004. It will address, in a result-oriented manner, the whole spectrum of cooperation activities, complementing NATO's ongoing activities with Ukraine under other plans and programmes.

The NATO-Ukraine relationship, which has deepened and broadened over the past year, serves the interests of Ukraine, NATO and the entire international community. The NATO-Ukraine Action Plan, adopted at the Prague Summit, has proven its value in developing this relationship. We must continue on this road.

This is my last meeting as Chairman of the NATO-Ukraine Commission. I consider myself as a real friend of Ukraine. I have greatly valued my involvement in the evolution of this quite unique partnership, and I am delighted to have played a part in its growing success.


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