|Last update: 26-Apr-2005 10:59||NATO Update|
NATO launches ‘Intensified Dialogue’ with Ukraine
At a meeting in Vilnius on 21 April, NATO invited Ukraine to begin an ‘Intensified Dialogue’on Ukraine’s aspirations to membership and relevant reforms, without prejudice to any eventual Alliance decision.
The meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers, also agreed on a series of concrete and immediate measures to enhance cooperation in support of Ukraine's reform priorities.Support for reforms
These include measures to strengthen democratic institutions, reinforce political dialogue, and reinvigorate co-operation in defence and security sector reform.
Ministers also agreed to enhance public diplomacy efforts in order to improve understanding of NATO in Ukraine and to enhance Alliance support in addressing the socio-economic impact of defence reform.
The Intensified Dialogue will build on these efforts and the current mechanisms for cooperation.
“The pace at which any partner comes closer to NATO is based on performance in respecting NATO standards and values, ” NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told reporters, “NATO and its member states stand ready to do what we can to help Ukraine achieve them.”
The formula of ‘Intensified Dialogue’ has its roots in the 1997 Madrid Summit, at which NATO Heads of State and Government decided “to continue the Alliance’s intensified dialogues with those nations that aspire to NATO membership or that otherwise with to pursue a dialogue with NATO on membership questions.”
These dialogues “cover the full range of political, military, financial and security issues relating to possible NATO membership, without prejudice to any eventual Alliance decision.”