Updated: 20-Nov-2001 Week of 1-7 March 2000

1 Mar. 2000
Reinforced relations with Ukraine

The beginning of 2000 has seen a significant development of relations between NATO and Ukraine.

Ukraine has recently been the host to the first NATO-Ukraine Commission ever to have been held on Ukrainian soil. This symbolic event has been a catalyst for further developments. The Ukrainian Parliament -the Verkhovna Rada- has ratified the agreement with NATO concerning the presence of foreign troops on Ukrainian territory during Partnership for Peace exercises. It has also ratified the Open Skies Treaty which allows signatories to carry out flights over each other's territory.

Other NATO-Ukraine activities are being developed such as cooperation in the fields of Civil Emergency Planning and disaster relief.

Defence reform has become a priority since Ukraine is working toward a professional army. In this respect, NATO is engaging in a series of initiatives within the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform. Recently, an international conference was held in Kyiv on "Ukrainian Defence Reform: the Challenge of Change". It was jointly organised by NATO and the Centre for Defence and International Security Studies, Lancaster University, United Kingdom.

Additional information:

  • High resolution photos of the Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv

  • High resolution photos of the visit to Ukraine by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson with NATO Ambassadors/Permanent Representatives
5 Mar. 2000
SFOR detains Dragoljub Prcac

NATO-led troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina have made their fourth arrest in three months : Dragoljub Prcac, deputy commander of the notorious Omarska prisoner camp during the war in Bosnia (1992-1995) was detained on 5 March. He is accused of being responsible for the acts of his subordinates in committing crimes against humanity and for unlawful detention in violation of the laws and customs of war during 1992.

SFOR, which has a mandate authorising it to detain such criminals, will continue its investigations in accordance with the Dayton Peace Agreement. Prcac has now been transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia in The Hague where other suspects involved in the Omarska indictment are also being tried.

6 Mar. 2000
Still too many armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina
During a meeting held on 6 March between representatives of SFOR and the armed forces of the two Entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Federation and the Republika Srpska), the problem of the disproportionately large size of armed forces in Bosnia was raised. SFOR Deputy Commander Operations Lt. Gen. Sir Michael Willcocks stated: "The 15% (reduction) was achieved by December last year, and we hope another 15% in this coming year".

Other subjects were discussed during this 29th Joint Military Commission, namely the completion of the demilitarisation of Brcko Opstina, professionalisation and joint training and the Data Access and Retrieval programme (DARE). The DARE programme is a database designed to keep record of weapons in weapons storage sites. The information is to be shared between SFOR and each Entity Army.