Today NATO held its first ever summit-level meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission. NATO has placed special importance on strengthening its relationship with Ukraine. A stable and secure Ukraine is in the interest of the entire Euro-Atlantic community.
At NATOs Madrid Summit in 1997, the Alliance and Ukraine signed the Charter on Distinctive Partnership, establishing the NATO-Ukraine Commission. Their mutual goal was to strengthen ties that have led to cooperation across a range of political, military, civil emergency, scientific and environmental activities. Ukraine has made significant progress in building its relationship with NATO through the Joint Working Group on Defense Reform and the Partnership for Peace (PfP). Its troops are serving side-by-side with NATOs in Bosnia and have participated in several NATO-partner training exercises.
The following was accomplished at todays NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting: Allied leaders encouraged Ukraine to continue down the path of economic and political reform. NATO and Ukraine issued a formal declaration highlighting the importance of Ukraines independence and sovereignty, and Ukraines willingness to play a growing role in improving regional stability. NATO announced its recognition of the Yavoriv military facility in western Ukraine as the first PfP training center in the former Soviet Union. Yavoriv has already been the site of several NATO-partner training exercises.
During the summit, Ukraine provided the Deputy Commander for the PfP Simulation Network demonstration, a further demonstration of Ukraines pro-active approach to its relationship with NATO.