Ukraine And NATO

The relations between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have been developing in the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (NACC until 30 May 1997), the multilateral forum for consultations and cooperation on political and security-related issues, more individual partnership in the field of defence, military cooperation and peacekeeping – the Partnership for Peace Program (PfP) (carried out under the EAPC auspices since May 1997), as well as Ukraine-NATO distinctive partnership under 19+1 formula (16+1 formula until mid 1998), formalized in a Charter On a Distinctive Partnership. These relations are determined by the necessity to establish a constructive cooperation with NATO as a leading structure, which tends and outlooks to become a centre of a Europe-wide security system, particularly in the context of eastward expansion. Ukraine determines its national interests concerning NATO with regard to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s role in maintenance of international peace, stability and security, promotion of a general climate of confidence in the Euro-Atlantic region, creation of a new regional security system in Europe, elaboration of approaches to the problems of disarmament, arms control and prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The development of a distinctive partnership between Ukraine and NATO:

  • increases the level of guarantees of political independence, territorial integrity and inviolability of frontiers of Ukraine;
  • facilitates the counteraction to new threats to stability and security in the Central and Eastern European region, of which Ukraine is a recognized integral part;
  • facilitates actively Ukraine’s integration into European security structures as well as its participation, as an important independent factor, in creation of a new architecture and system of security in Europe;
  • accelerates the defence reform and formation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine; provides possibilities to use the experience of NATO member states in the said fields, particularly in ensuring the democratic control of armed forces, transparency of defence planning and budgeting processes, formation of professional armed forces, capable of participating in international peacekeeping activities under the UN auspices and/or under the responsibility of the OSCE.
  • gives the ability to receive assistance from NATO and its member states in protection of the population from the consequences of civil emergencies (emergencies in Kharkiv, Saloniki, Transcarpathia, Odessa and Kharkiv regions).
Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization A Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was signed by the President of Ukraine, for Ukraine, and NATO’s Secretary General and heads of state and government of the member states of the Alliance, for NATO, at Madrid Summit of NATO on 9 July 1997. Its signature was an important practical step towards ensuring Ukraine’s national interests and security in the context of European integration processes, particularly NATO’s enlargement. The Charter recognizes that an independent, democratic, and stable Ukraine is one of the key factors for ensuring stability in Central and Eastern Europe, and the continent as a whole. It notes that NATO Allies will continue to support Ukrainian sovereignty and independence, territorial integrity, democratic development, economic prosperity and its status as a non-nuclear weapon state, and the principle of inviolability of frontiers, as key factors of stability and security in Central and Eastern Europe and in the continent as a whole. The Charter also notes that NATO member states support the fact that Ukraine received security assurances from all five nuclear-weapon states parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT. The Parties reaffirmed their commitment to the full development of the EAPC and the enhanced PfP. This includes Ukrainian participation in operations, including peacekeeping operations, on a case-by-case basis, under the authority of the UN Security Council, or the responsibility of the OSCE, and, if CJTF are used in such cases, Ukrainian participation in them at an early stage. Consultation and cooperation as set out in this Charter will be implemented through: Ukraine-NATO Commission (periodic meetings at the level of Ambassadors, Foreign Ministers, Defence Ministers and Heads of State under the 19+1 formula); Ukraine-NATO meetings with appropriate NATO Committees under the 19+1 formula; joint working groups; reciprocal high level visits; experts exchange; a crisis consultative mechanism to consult together whenever Ukraine perceives a direct threat to its territorial integrity, political independence, or security.

Political consultations between Ukraine and NATO remain an important area for cooperation in:

  • political and security related subjects, in particular the development of Euro-Atlantic security and stability, including the security of Ukraine;
  • conflict prevention, crisis management, peace support, conflict resolution and humanitarian operations, taking into account the roles of the United Nations and the OSCE in this field;
  • disarmament and arms control issues, including those related to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), the Open Skies Treaty and confidence and security building measures in the 1994 Vienna Document;
  • arms exports and related technology transfers.

Cooperation in the framework of the Partnership for Peace Program

Ukraine views the Partnership for Peace Program (PfP) as an important element of the overall structure of European stability and security which is aimed at further development and practical enhancing of relations of NATO with the EAPC member states in the fields of defence, military-civil cooperation and peacekeeping. On 8 February 1994 Ukraine signed the PfP Framework Document, and on 25 May submitted its Presentation Document to NATO. The later indicates political goals of Ukraine’s participation in the PfP, steps which will be taken by Ukraine to achieve these goals and the military and other assets made available by Ukraine for Partnership purposes. In 1995 Ukraine assigned its first liaison officers to NATO Headquarters in Brussels and to the Partnership Coordination Cell (PCC) at Mons (Belgium). In Spring 1995 Ukraine and NATO concluded an agreement on security related issues, under which Ukraine opened its liaison offices at NATO Headquarters and the PCC. Important PfP documents outlining the legal status of Ukrainian troops taking part in military exercises and other activities on the territory of NATO, or its Partner states as well as of NATO troops involved in Ukraine were signed on behalf of the Government of Ukraine on 6 May 1996. The said Partnership for Peace Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and its additional protocol were approved by the Ukrainian Parliament on 2 March 2000.

Concrete objectives of the Partnership include:

  • creation of conditions for integration of Ukraine into the overall European security system;
  • ensuring democratic control of armed forces;
  • promoting transparency of national defence planning and budgeting;
  • maintenance of the capability and readiness to contribute, subject to constitutional consideration, to operations under the authority of the UN and/or the responsibility of the CSCE;
  • sharing NATO’s experience in reforming and building of modern armed forces.

Cooperation in the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council

The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) is an important mechanism of regular consultations on a broad range of political issues and issues relating to the all-European and regional security. The EAPC allows its member states to take part in elaboration and adoption of NATO decisions on the issues which have direct impact on their national interests. Ukraine stands for further strengthening of the consultations and cooperation in the framework of the EAPC, views it as an organ of permanent dialog between NATO Allies and Partner countries. As an active member of the EAPC, Ukraine concentrates on the following areas of its activity:
  • political and security related issues;
  • economic issues;
  • scientific cooperation;
  • ecological consequences of military activities;
  • information;
  • peacekeeping;
  • civil crisis management.

State Program of Cooperation of Ukraine with NATO for 2001-2004

It is of principal importance for Ukraine to confirm in practice the consistency of its political course for development of dynamic partnership with NATO. This is the main purpose of the State Program of Cooperation of Ukraine with NATO for 2001-2004, endorsed by a decree of the President of Ukraine on 27 January 2001 and officially submitted to NATO on 25 April 2001 at the meeting of a Ukraine-NATO Commission at Ambassadorial level, which was attended by Yevhen Marchuk, the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Head of the Ukrainian State Interdepartmental Commission for Cooperation with NATO. The Program encompasses cooperation between Ukraine and NATO in the framework of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership and on the multilateral basis (PfP, EAPC). The Program is a logical continuation of the first Sate Program of Cooperation of Ukraine with NATO for 1998-2000 and is a groundwork for elaboration of an annual Work Plan for the implementation of the Charter and of the Individual Partnership Program as well as the instrument for ensuring their full and qualitative implementation by the Ukrainian ministries and governmental institutions concerned. Besides traditional political, military-political and military areas of cooperation, the Program places special emphasise on cooperation in such new fields as defence reform and non-military areas of cooperation (military-technical, civil emergency planning and catastrophe preparedness, science and technologies, military economy and conversion of defence industry, standardization and weapons systems compatibility, use of airspace etc).

Ukraine’s stance on the issue of expanded NATO

Ukraine views NATO enlargement as an extension of a security, stability, and democracy zone in Europe. In view of that and necessity of adherence to the universally recognized principal of indivisibility of security, Ukraine welcomes aspiration of the Central and Eastern Europe states for NATO membership. At the same time Ukraine believes the enlargement will promote security and stability of the region if:
  • there is a guarantee of NATO transparency in the future;
  • NATO enlargement goes alongside of deepening of the Alliance’s cooperation with all states of the region in European security issues;
  • there are no unsettled boundary or other contentious issues between prospective members of NATO and their neighbouring states.
Inadmissibility of territorial claims, whatever state they come from, deployment of nuclear weapons on the territory of new members, restoration of neo-imperial prevailing in Europe as well as of emergence of new dividing lines or “spheres of influence” in the Euro-Atlantic region have primary importance for Ukraine in the context of NATO enlargement.

Cooperation in the framework NATO’s missions in Ukraine

NATO Information and Documentation Centre (NIDC) was established in Kyiv in 1997 to facilitate development of practical cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, promote ties between Ukrainian Ministries and other central executive authorities and the relevant bodies of NATO, facilitate visits of NATO officials to Ukraine, improve knowledge about NATO. NATO Liaison Office was inaugurated in Ukraine in 1999 under Memoranda on Understanding between the Government of Ukraine and NATO, signed in May 1997 and December 1998 respectively.

Ukraine-NATO military cooperation

The purpose of Ukraine’s military cooperation with NATO is to use the experience and assistance of the Alliance, its member and Partner states for the reforming and development of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, improvement of mechanisms of social protection of military servicemen, training of military contingents, and preparation of the relevant national infrastructure for interaction with NATO in joint peacekeeping, search and rescue. Ukrainian military servicemen have been annually participating in a number of activities within and “in the spirit of” the PfP: meetings of the Ukraine-NATO Commission and the EAPC at the level of Defence Ministers; meetings of the Ukraine-NATO Military Committee and the EAPC at the level of Chiefs of Staff; meetings of the EAPC at the level of commanders-in-chief of branches and arms of service; workshops and conferences; training courses; meetings in the framework of the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform at expert’s and high levels; joint military exercises. In 1994-2000 representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine took part in more than 80 military exercises in the framework and “in the spirit of” the Partnership for Peace Program (as observers or participants). Particularly, in 2000 the Ukrainian armed forces were involved in 10 military exercises, three of which (Cooperative Partner 2000, Peace Shield 2000 and Cossack Plain 2000) were hosted by Ukraine. The Cooperative Partner 2000 (held 19 June – 21 July 2000, involved more than 5000 military personnel, about 100 military equipment, 50 warships, launches and vessels) was one of the biggest exercises held in the framework of the PfP in 2000. In 2001 Ukraine intends to participate in 8 exercises at the level of subdivisions: 4 on the territory of Ukraine and 4 beyond its borders. In the framework of the Ukraine-NATO military relations major attention is rendered to the development of regional cooperation, particularly in the framework of the Ukrainian-Polish peacekeeping battalion, formation of a Ukrainian-Romanian-Hungarian-Slovakian engineer battalion and of a Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group (Blackseafor), including 6 countries. Ukraine’s participation in NATO led peacekeeping activities, particularly KFOR, is an important element of Ukraine-NATO cooperation. A Ukrainian-Polish peacekeeping battalion has been operating as part of KFOR since July 2000. It was formed and certified according to NATO’s requirements. (As of August 2001, the Ukrainian contingent to KFOR included a Ukrainian part of the Ukrainian-Polish peacekeeping battalion, which is made of 267 servicemen and 4 staff officers).

Joint Working Group on Defence Reform

The Joint Working Group on Defence Reform (JWGDR) is a Ukraine-NATO permanent consultations mechanism, operating under the 19+1 formula. Its activity is aimed at ensuring NATO support of defence reform in Ukraine, primarily of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, implementation of the State Program of Reform and Development of the Armed Forces of Ukraine until 2005. The JWGDR occupies one of the key places in Ukraine-NATO distinctive partnership. Cooperation under the JWGDR is perceived as Ukraine’s readiness to share NATO Allies’ experience in democratic defence reform and to meet the European requirements in this respect. For this reason it has both practical and political importance for our state. In addition to expert meetings, the JWGDR has been also meeting at the high level of Deputy Defence Ministers since late 2000. At one of such meetings a delegation of Ukraine came forth with directions for reforming and development of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, where it was found appropriate to seek assistance of NATO member states in:
  • gradual transition of the Ukrainian Armed Forces from conscript to professional army;
  • further development of military education system
  • training of peacekeeping contingents of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
One of the main JWGDR projects is to promote the implementation of the State Program of Reform and Development of the Armed Forces of Ukraine until 2005 through the Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process’ mechanisms.

The Planning and Review Process

The Planning and Review Process (PARP), involving 19 Partner states, was launched in 1994 in order to make NATO Partners able to prepare their armed forces for operating in conjunction with the armed forces of Alliance as well as to set up a mechanism for exchange of information on defence and budget planning. The participation in the PARP allows Ukraine to upgrade its interoperability with NATO Allies and Partners in peacekeeping, search and rescue as well as to improve its relevant national standards drawing on the experience of cooperation with the Alliance etc. Alongside of the purposes of reaching interoperability with NATO armed forces, Ukraine employs the PARP mechanisms to ensure its Armed Forces’ reform according to the State Program of Reform and Development of the Armed Forces of Ukraine until 2005. Ukraine’s ability to use the PARP mechanisms for the said purpose is one of the most important high level agreements reached in the framework of the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform.

Non military areas of Ukraine-NATO cooperation

Military-technical cooperation of Ukraine with NATO Allies and Partners To ensure the competitiveness of national defence industry and the domestic producers’ interests it is important for Ukraine, a state with a highly developed military-technical base and a considerable relevant export potential, to be constantly aware of the demand, standards, trends of development and weapons delivery systems in the countries producing or consuming such products, particularly NATO Allies and Partners, as well as to develop contacts with defence industry representatives of the said states and promote achievements of Ukrainian producers in this field. Participation of Ukraine in the meetings of a Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) and its groups, projects of NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG) and NATO Maintenance & Supply Agency (NAMSA) as well as activities of other NATO’s bodies for military-technical cooperation opens wide opportunities for it. The defence research and technologies, represented in NATO by the Research and Technology Organisation, is an important part of the military-technical direction. A considerable part of scientific conferences and symposiums on a wide range of military-scientific and military-technological issues are held under its auspices.

Cooperation of Ukraine with NATO in Civil Emergency Planning

Ukraine is considered to be one of the leading EAPC member countries to cooperate in Civil Emergency Planning (CEP). The cooperation in this field provides for considerable technical and methodical assistance to Ukraine. This includes, among other things, preparation of civil defence staff and utilization of experience of NATO Allies and Partners for the improvement of national legislation on the protection of population and territories. Our state has been receiving an effective assistance of NATO Allies and Partners in civil emergencies and natural disasters through established contacts with NATO International Secretariat, mechanisms of Ukraine-NATO cooperation as well as the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre established in 1998. In particular, Ukraine received such assistance in overcoming consequences of the accident at Kharkiv sewage facilities in 1995, in search and rescue operation on the cite of crash of the Ukrainian Yak-42 aircraft and in the area of Saloniki airport in 1997, mitigation of consequences of floods in Transkarpathia in 1998 and 2001. In 2000-2001 a number of groundwork activities were carried for the preparation of a Ukraine-NATO Pilot Project on prevention of floods in Transcarpathia. The project envisages a complex analyses of risks of natural catastrophes in Transcarpathia, promotes creation of regional flood warning systems etc. Although limited resources of NATO civil budget are not sufficient to solve the flood problem in Transcarpathia, the Project may act as a catalyst for broadening of regional programs under the aegis of other international organisations, including EU, or on a bilateral basis. A broader use by Ukraine of NATO Allies’ experience in crisis and emergency preparedness for certain sectors of the national economy as well as harmonisation of the relevant national legislation with EU requirements might be prospective directions of Ukraine-NATO cooperation in Civil Emergency Planning.

Ukraine-NATO economic cooperation

The economic cooperation is coordinated through an Economic Committee of NATO. The Committee is a framework for research in economic trends and economic related issues in the field of defence; preparation of economic assessments of NATO countries for the Defence Review Committee in the context of NATO’s defence planning; maintenance of contacts with international economic organizations; elaboration of programs of NATO’s cooperation with the Partner countries in economic related issues. There is a number of important initiatives and programs which have been implemented in the framework of Ukraine-NATO economic cooperation. For example, a Ukraine-NATO joint project of foreign language teaching for discharged or retired military personnel in Ukraine was launched in October 1999. Since that time, more than 100 Ukrainian military servicemen have benefited already from NATO-sponsored language retraining courses (English, French and German) as well as received assistance in finding employment in civil sector of the economy. Building on the Project’s success (as NATO considers the Ukrainian experience to be most successful and draws upon it when implementing analogical projects in the countries of South-Eastern Europe), NATO’s Economic Directorate proposed to broaden it by providing new language training for Donezk, Sevastopol, Odesa and Uzyn. The Open-Ended Joint Working Group on Economic Security is an important part of Ukraine-NATO economic cooperation. Its annual meetings serve as a forum for discussing theoretical and practical issues of economic security, consideration of concepts of ensuring this important integral of a nation-wide security. The next high level meeting of the Working Group is due in Autumn 2001. A training course on defence budget related issues for representatives of Ukrainian Ministries and other governmental institutions, including Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Finance, has become one of the latest Ukraine-NATO joint economic initiatives. The first course took place in September – December 2000 on the basis of the National Academy of Defence of Ukraine. Other series of lectures will be delivered in Ukraine in the second half of 2001. Ukraine actively participates in economic cooperation also in the framework of the EAPC. In pursuance of the economic section of the Action Plan of the EAPC this includes holding of workshops and conferences on the issues of budgeting, restructuring of defence industry, planning and management of national defence programs, economic security, legislative oversight of defence budgets etc. Urgent issues of economic cooperation are coordinated in the framework of the EAPC Economic Committee, which holds its sessions at NATO Headquarters.

Ukraine-NATO scientific cooperation

There is a number of scientific and environmental programs carried out under the aegis of NATO in which Ukrainian scientists take an active part. The Scientific Program of NATO, coordinated through the NATO Science Committee, is a highly efficient tool for promotion of international cooperation in scientific research for peaceful purposes. The Program provides for intensification of contacts of Ukrainian scientists with their foreign colleagues (visits, probations, workshops and conferences) and strengthening thus of their scientific potential. In resent years an approximate of 500 Ukrainian scientists have received NATO grants in the framework of the Program. An Informational Academic Network was launched in Ukraine with NATO’s support in the first half of 2000. The said Network allows Ukrainian research institutions and universities to receive Internet access or improve its quality. At present, another grant for the development of the said Network is being considered by NATO. Ukrainian scientists have been also participating in realization of a number of environmental protection projects under the aegis of a NATO Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society. A number of such projects and seminars were dedicated to the issues of ecological protection of the Black Sea, ensuring environmental protection during military exercises etc. A Ukraine-NATO Joint Working Group On Science and Environmental Protection was set up in 2000 for the purpose of establishing coordination and increasing efficiency of participation of Ukrainian representatives in scientific and ecological programs of NATO. The said Working Group held its first meeting in Brussels in October 2000. Its second meeting came off in Kyiv in April 2001. With a view to better knowledge of Ukrainian public about NATO’s activities in the field of science, a NATO Science Program was presented in April 2001 at the National Aviation University of Ukraine, during the visit to Ukraine of a delegation of the NATO Directorate of Science.

Ukraine-NATO cooperation in the sphere of information

Over the last 5 years more than 80 Ukrainian delegations (an approximate total of 1100 persons) have paid learning visits to NATO Headquarters in Brussels and to SHAPE. The delegations included, among others, representatives of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Ministries and other governmental institutions, leading mass-media, scientific institutions, academies, universities and schools. NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv (NIDC) has held more than 90 workshops and round tables in Ukraine since 1997. The Centre also disseminates public information materials and periodicals in Ukrainian about NATO’s activities. On the other hand, Ukraine actively uses various fora of Ukraine-NATO and the EAPC cooperation to provide objective information on its domestic and foreign policy to NATO Allies and Partners. That includes, among other things, regular dissemination in NATO Headquarters of relevant press-releases, arrangement of exhibitions, interviews and press conferences attended by Ukrainian official delegations. Creation of a Ukraine-NATO web-page on the official web-cite of NATO is another important element of the informational cooperation. It is visited every day by a considerable number of private and corporative users from around the world (more than 1000 visits a day, according to the Information Service of NATO).

Parliamentary dimension of Ukraine-NATO cooperation

The cooperation between the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and NATO Parliamentary Assembly is one of the topical issues of the Ukraine-NATO relationship. The cooperation in this field has noticeably intensified since the beginning of 2000. The establishment of a Ukraine-NATO: For Cooperation, Mutual Understanding and Global Security parliamentary group in the Ukrainian Parliament as well as holding of the first meeting of a Ukraine-NATO Joint Monitoring Group in Brussels on 2-3 November 2000 testify to a great potential of these relations. According to the agreements between the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and NATO four monthly seminars on defence and security related issues were held in the Ukrainian Parliament in March-June 2001. They were attended by representatives of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, the Marshall Centre, experts from other international organizations, diplomats of NATO member states, accredited to Kyiv. A number of other fields of non-military cooperation with NATO, particularly air traffic control, spacecraft and space technologies, standardization and metrology, are being currently on a stage of development, elaboration of optimum coordination mechanisms and topics of mutual interest. In order to draw attention of NATO Allies and Partners to the necessity of enhancing non-military cooperation within the EAPC, the Ukrainian side initiated a joint Ukrainian-Turkish document on utilization of potential of non-military cooperation in the framework of the EAPC which was circulated at the Ambassadorial session of the EAPC on 24 April 2001. The document offers concrete steps to be taken to increase the effectiveness of the existing mechanisms of interaction in the fields of civil emergency planning, economic aspects of defence activities, science and technologies, ecology and information as well as an assessment of the current status of the said interaction. The document, upon its consideration in the Political Committee of the EAPC, will be submitted, with addenda and proposals appended, to the profile committees and groups for practical implementation.