Updated: 22-Apr-2005 NATO Speeches


21 Apr. 2005

Opening remarks

by Borys Tarasyuk, Foreign Minister of Ukraine at
the Informal Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission
at the Level Of Foreign Ministers

20-21/04/2005 - Vilnius
Informal meeting of Foreign Ministers

Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

Fully sharing the views expressed by our Secretary General in his opening statement I would like to emphasize once again the special importance of signing the agreement on Ukraine's contribution to the NATO Operation Active Endeavour.

Being the first ever participation of Ukraine in an operation under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, it will also contribute to bridging interoperability between NATO military structure and the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It is our joint endeavour and a contribution to international efforts in the fight against terrorism.

Let me express my hope that our cooperation in such a key region as the Mediterranean will help to make this part of the world safer for all.

Dear colleagues, after the Brussels Summit of the NATO-Ukraine Commission today Ukraine and NATO open a new page in our strategic partnership. This is in fact the first meeting in such a format since the democratic change of power in Ukraine. We are grateful for the postponement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting from last September.

Starting from the beginning of the '90s, Ukraine and NATO have been paving the way to each other, overcoming Cold War stereotypes and mistrust. During this period, Ukraine and NATO have changed radically. NATO has become a stronghold of the European security. It opened its door to new members, established new partnerships and extended its cooperation to regions beyond the Euro-Atlantic area.

Ukraine is also a different country now. The Orange Revolution has brought to my people the fresh air of freedom, dignity and firm confidence in its democratic and prosperous future. The new Ukrainian leaders are confronted with a formidable challenge of translating the high expectations of the people into the coherent and efficient policy of reforms.

Our strategic objective, Euro-Atlantic integration, remains a high priority on Ukraine's national agenda. We are fully aware of the fact that the Alliance is a performance-based organisation and therefore the answer to our membership aspirations is in Kiev. Our priority is to bring political, social, economic and defence systems of Ukraine in full compliance with democratic Euro-Atlantic standards.

It is my sincere hope to bring to Ukraine from this meeting a strong political message which would inspire my fellow citizens to accomplish reforms and so to integrate the nation into this Alliance of shared democratic values.

I thank you very much.


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