|Updated: 27-Feb-2003||November 2002|
NATO-Ukraine Action Plan adopted at Prague
Relations between NATO and Ukraine took an important step forward with the adoption of the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan by the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) meeting at the level of foreign ministers in Prague on 22 November.
The new Action Plan provides a framework for intensified consultations and cooperation on political, economic, military and defence matters. It was developed following the NUC's decision in May 2002 to deepen and broaden NATO-Ukraine relationship.
Strategic framework for the future
The Action Plan builds on the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which remains the basic foundation of relations. Its purpose is to identify clearly Ukraine's strategic objectives and priorities in pursuit of its aspirations to full integration into Euro-Atlantic security structures, and to provide a strategic framework for existing and future NATO-Ukraine cooperation. It sets out jointly agreed principles and objectives, covering political and economic issues; information issues; security, defence and military issues; information protection and security; and legal issues.
Annual Target Plans, including specific Ukrainian measures as well as joint NATO-Ukraine actions, will support the implementation of the objectives set out in the Action Plan. Assessment meetings will take place twice a year and a progress report will be prepared annually.
Taking reforms forward
Allied ministers urged Ukraine to take the reform process forward vigorously in order to strengthen democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the market economy. In particular, they highlighted the need for far-reaching transformation of the defence and security sectors. The Allies will continue to support reforms through assistance and advice, but the burden for implementation will fall primarily on Ukraine.
The adoption of the Action Plan – at a time when the Alliance has expressed grave concerns about reports of the authorisation at the highest level of the transfer of air-defence equipment from Ukraine to Iraq – demonstrates the strength of the Allies' commitment to developing strong NATO-Ukraine relations and the importance of an independent, stable and democratic Ukraine to Europe as a whole.