Updated: 21-Oct-2005 NATO Speeches


19 Oct. 2005

Press conference

Opening statement by the NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, at the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) with Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk and Defence Minister Anatolyi Gritsenko in Kyiv

Audio of the press conference .MP3/7206Kb

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, Ministers, Ambassadors. Dobri den, chanovni pani ii panover.

Minister Tarasyuk, Minister Grytsenko, let me begin by saying how glad we all are to be here this morning, and to enjoy your and Ukraine ’s hospitality.

You both know very well from our frequent contacts that the North Atlantic Alliance remains firmly committed to a robust and effective partnership with Ukraine . A few months ago, we opened another chapter in that partnership. Following the momentous events of last winter, we agreed to launch an Intensified Dialogue on Ukraine ’s membership aspirations and the reforms that would be necessary to achieve them.

This Dialogue will help us to focus our support of Ukraine ’s reform goals. But it will also be an opportunity for the Ukrainian authorities and, just as importantly, for the Ukrainian people, to learn more about our organisation, about its goals and principles, and about Ukraine ’s possible place in it.

The decision to launch this Intensified Dialogue with Ukraine was a significant one. It was a signal that all NATO Allies recognise Ukraine’s aspirations for Euro-Atlantic integration, and that they are committed to doing all they can, individually and collectively, to support her along that path.

This is a task, we all realise and you in the first place, that will require much hard work, and an unshakeable commitment to systematic reform. In our meeting here today, and throughout our stay in this great country, we look forward to hearing more about these efforts and about what challenges remain, and to exploring ways in which we can further enhance our cooperation and support. Because ultimately, your success is in our common interest.

So once, again, Minister Tarasyuk, Dear Boris, Minister Grytsenko, Dear Anatoliy, thank you very much for your hospitality, it is a pleasure to be here. I pass the floor to you.


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