Distinctive partnership between Ukraine and NATO
The fundamental documents of Ukraine-NATO relations are the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, signed on 9 July 1997, and the Declaration to Complement the Charter, signed on 21 August 2009. The Law of Ukraine “On the Foundations of Domestic and Foreign Policy”, adopted on 1 July 2010, reflected Ukraine’s intention as a European non-block state to continue constructive partnership with NATO. Based on this course the National Security Strategy of Ukraine (8 June 2012) has been updated. The Alliance confirmed its readiness to further develop the partnership with Ukraine in the new Strategic Concept adopted at the NATO Lisbon Summit (November, 2010) and the NATO Chicago Summit Declaration (May, 2012).
I. Political dialogue
The political dialogue between Ukraine and NATO provides through bilateral contacts at all levels, including inter-parliamentary dimension. NATO-Ukraine Commission is the main mechanism of the deepening this dialogue role. It was established in 1997 according to the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership. Five Ukraine-NATO Joint Working Groups operate under the auspices of the Commission.
On 22 February 2013 the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the defence ministers level took place in Brussels at NATO Headquarters.
On 27 May 2013 Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Leonid Kozhara met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels.
On 19 June 2013 the NATO-Ukraine Commission held a meeting with the participation of Advisor to the President – Head of Presidential Administration Main Office for Constitutional and Legal Modernization Affairs Maryna Stavniychuk (on constitutional reform in Ukraine and the reform of the electoral law).
On 24 September 2013 President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the sidelines of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly.
On 23 October 2013 Minister of Defense of Ukraine Pavel Lebedev participated in the meeting of defense ministers from NATO and partner countries that contribute to the International Security Assistance Force mission and met with NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow (NATO Headquarters, Brussels).
On 7 November 2013 Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Leonid Kozhara met with NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Thrasyvoulos Terry Stamatopoulos and the Commission for Ukraine’s Partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization with the participation of experts of the NATO International Secretariat and representatives of relevant state executive bodies was held in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
On 10 December 2013 in Brussels, the NATO-Ukraine Commission held a meeting with the participation of Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Andrii Olefirov.
On 12 February 2014 in Kyiv, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara met the NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Hugh Bayley.
In the frame of strengthening of parliamentary dialogue the Permanent Delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine participated (as an observer) in the plenary Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (17-20 May 2013, Luxembourg) and the plenary Autumn Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (11-14 October 2013, Dubrovnik).
II. Annual National Programmes of Ukraine-NATO cooperation
Annual National Programme of Ukraine-NATO cooperation (ANP) is a key system document of the further development of cooperation with NATO and an important instrument of reforms implementation in Ukraine. It was implemented in 2009 for the first time. The Annual National Programme of Ukraine-NATO cooperation is approved by the President of Ukraine. The Annual National Programme of Ukraine-NATO cooperation for 2013 was approved by the Decree of President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych № 371/2013 dated 5 July 2013. Draft of the Annual National Programme of Ukraine-NATO cooperation for 2014 was approved at the Government's meeting on January 15, 2014.
ІІІ. Practical cooperation between Ukraine and NATO
To develop practical cooperation under the auspices of NATO-Ukraine Commission five Ukraine-NATO Joint Working Groups were established: on Defence Reform (JWGDR); on Defence Technical Cooperation (JWGDTC); on Economic Security; on Civil Emergency Planning; on Scientific and Environmental Cooperation (JWGSEC). Cooperation on security and defence sectors’ reform take place under the auspices of the relevant Ukraine-NATO Joint Working Groups, by the participation of Ukraine in NATO programme “Partnership for Peace” as well as by bilateral cooperation with the NATO member states.
In 2013, three meetings of Ukraine-NATO Joint Working Group on Defence Reform, two meetings of Ukraine-NATO Joint Working Group on Defence Technical Cooperation and one meeting of Ukraine-NATO Joint Working Group on Scientific and Environmental Cooperation were conducted.
Cooperation in the so-called “non-military” dimension continued actively, particularly in the sphere of science and the environment.
On 18 September 2013 Implementing Agreement was signed between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and NATO Support Organisation on disposal of radioactive waste that resulted from military programmes of the former USSR (Trust Fund was established; Germany is a leader-country of the project; the United States , Switzerland , Luxembourg are other donors).
In July 2013 the project “Implementation of nature-recovering works on localization and destruction of petrochemical pollution on the territory of Reserve Park of military unit A2788 in Kyiv” was launched within the Alliance’s programme “Science for Peace and Security”.
IV. Ukraine’s participation in NATO-led missions
Ukraine participates in the three (from the current four) peacekeeping missions under the NATO command. Currently, Ukraine contributes 30 military personnel to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and 163 personnel to the Multinational Force in Kosovo (KFOR).
With the view to develop earlier agreements between Ukrainian and Italian sides on the movement of the Ukrainian capabilities from the Ghor Province to the Italian armed forces contingent in Heart, the relevant Technical agreement between the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defence of the Italian Republic was signed on 7 August 2013 at the NATO headquarters.
In 2013 the naval forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were participating in the NATO-led operation “ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR” (OAE) involving the corvette “Ternopil” (13 October – 13 November 2013).
From September 24, 2013 till January 2, 2014 the frigate “Hetman Sagaydachniy” carried out its mission in the framework of the NATO's anti-piracy Operation Ocean Shield (the Gulf of Aden). From 5 January 2014 the frigate “Hetman Sagaydachniy” started its participation in the same area in the frame of the counter-piracy operation «EU NAVFOR ATALANTA» as part of the EU naval forces (till 5 March 2014).
From January 1, 2014 company of the naval forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine began its duty in the NATO Response Force (NRF) after participating in the main NRF certificated study “Steadfast Jazz-2013” ( 28 October – 9 November 2013, Poland, the area of the Baltic Sea).
V. Internal coordination of the development of constructive partnership between Ukraine and NATO
Internal coordination of constructive partnership between Ukraine and NATO is carried out by the Commission for Ukraine’s Partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The Commission, created in 2010, is an auxiliary body to the President of Ukraine and is chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. The up-dated staff of the Commission was approved by the Decree of the President of Ukraine № 6/2014 dated 14 January 2014. On 7 November 2013 the Commission held its seventh meeting with the participation of experts of the NATO International Secretariat, devoted to the assessment of the Annual National Programme of Ukraine-NATO cooperation for 2013.