|Updated: 26-Mar-2007||NATO Topics|
NATO - Ukraine relations
Security cooperation and support for reform
NATO and Ukraine actively cooperate in international peace-support operations and have developed practical cooperation in a wide range of other areas. An Intensified Dialogue is also underway on Ukraine's membership aspirations and related reforms.
The launch of the Intensified Dialogue in April 2005 marks a milestone in NATO-Ukraine relations. It is a clear signal that NATO Allies support Ukraine's integration aspirations. However, it does not guarantee an invitation to join such an invitation would be based on Ukraine's performance in implementing key reform goals. NATO and individual Allies are committed to providing assistance and advice, but the pace of progress remains in Ukraine's hands.
The formal basis for NATO-Ukraine relations is provided by the 1997 NATO-Ukraine Charter on a Distinctive Partnership. The Charter identified areas for consultation and cooperation and established the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) to take work forward.Steps were taken to deepen and broaden the NATO-Ukraine relationship in November 2002 with the adoption of the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan.
What does this mean in practice?
Key areas of consultation and cooperation include peace-support operations and security, defence and security sector reform, economic aspects of defence, military-to-military cooperation, armaments, civil emergency planning, and scientific and environmental cooperation.
How did this policy evolve?
NATO-Ukraine relations date back to 1991, when Ukraine joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council in 1991 (later renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council), immediately upon achieving independence with the break-up of the Soviet Union. A few years later, in 1994, Ukraine became the first of the Commonwealth of Independent States to join the Partnership for Peace (PfP) a major programme of practical security and defence cooperation between NATO and individual Partner countries.
Which NATO bodies play a central role in implementing this policy?
The NATO-Ukraine Commission is the principal structure and forum for developing the NATO-Ukraine relationship and directing cooperative activities. Joint working groups have also been set up under the auspices of the NUC, to take work forward in specific areas. Of particular importance are the Political Committee in NUC format, and the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform. The political dialogue between NATO Allies and Ukraine is regularly undertaken in the NUC Political Committee, which also takes the leading role in developing the NATO-Ukraine Annual Target Plans and the preparation of high-level meetings of the NUC. The Joint Working Group on Defence Reform was established to facilitate consultation and practical cooperation in the priority area of defence and security sector reform.