Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission In Foreign Ministers Session
The NATO-Ukraine Commission met today in Foreign Ministers session at NATO Headquarters.
Ministers discussed questions related to regional security in the Euro-Atlantic area, and reiterated their commitment to cooperating with the international coalition in the fight against terrorism.
Allies expressed their appreciation of Ukraines support for the measures taken by NATO and Allies in the fight against terrorism, in particular Ukraine's decision to open its airspace for overflight by US aircraft. Ministers discussed possible avenues of deepening NATO-Ukraine cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and commended the experts' consultations on 3 October on the struggle against money laundering, illegal migration and the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
The Commission underlined its commitment to the progressive strengthening of the NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership. It expressed its support for Ukraines role in strengthening regional cooperation, promoting stability and security in the Euro- Atlantic area and establishing good neighbourly relations. The Commission welcomed the deepened dialogue, cooperation and consultations between NATO and Russia.
Allies took note of Minister Zlenkos statement that NATO-Ukraine cooperation under the NATO Ukraine Charter constitutes an important element of Ukraines Euro-Atlantic integration policy and is an integral part of Ukraines national security agenda.
Ministers underlined the importance of joint efforts to promote a successful outcome of the peace process in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in the spirit of the Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine. They welcomed the Parliamentary ratification of the General Framework Agreement, and stressed the importance of its full implementation.
Allies commended Ukraines continued important contribution to the NATO-led operation in Kosovo through the Polish-Ukrainian peacekeeping battalion. The Commission noted with satisfaction the promising results of the general elections in Kosovo on 17 November 2001, and underlined their commitment to the full implementation of UNSCR 1244.
The Commission noted the significant progress made in NATO-Ukraine co-operation under the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership since its last meeting in Budapest. It welcomed the exchange of high-profile visits and the wide range of political and expert level consultations, which took place in 2001. It also underlined the substantial enhancement of NATO-Ukraine co-operative activities, including, inter alia, in Civil Emergency Planning, Economic Security and on Science and the Environment.
Ministers highlighted the results of the Senior Level meeting of the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform on 25 October 2001 and expressed their high expectations for the ambitious programme of activities identified by the Group for 2002, in particular the work on the National Defense Reform Objectives. Ministers welcomed joint efforts of the NATO Military Committee and Ukraine in 2001, which have focused military cooperation towards meeting goals in the areas of interoperability and defence reform.
In order to highlight the practical benefits of NATO-Ukraine cooperation, the Commission witnessed the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding between Ukraine and the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) providing for the implementation of a PfP Trust Fund, which foresees the safe destruction of 400,000 Anti Personnel Landmines.
Ministers endorsed the Work Plan for 2002, and placed particular emphasis on further political consultations, combined with continued practical cooperation built on the successes of 2001. They expressed their readiness to enhance mutual exchanges of information, particularly with regards to issues related to the fight against terrorism and other security concerns. In 2002 The NATO-Ukraine Commission will also mark the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership.
Members of the Commission expressed their satisfaction with the work of the NATO Information and Documentation Centre and the NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine, and agreed to continue to support them actively in fulfilling their important respective missions.
Allies took note of Minister Zlenkos statement on the importance of holding a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Heads of State and Government in Prague in 2002.