12 Feb. —
Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko signed order №45/2016 “On the Approval of the Annual National Programme of Ukraine-NATO Cooperation for 2016”. The main purpose of the document is to coordinate the activities of various governmental bodies during their collaboration with NATO and individual member-states on issues of defence, policy, national security and law.
In the approved programme, it states that the development and further deepening of special partnership with NATO is a national priority in the sphere of Ukraine’s foreign policy. The strategic objective for cooperating with the Alliance is the country’s accession to the “common European security system”.
Ukraine’s aspiration to become a part of NATO is declared in the document. For this purpose, Kiev commits to the intensification of cooperation in the following main areas during 2016:
- deepening political dialogue on issues related to the implementation of democratic reforms and ensuring regional security;
- implementing reforms in the security and defence sector in line with NATO standards;
- participating in Alliance peacekeeping and security operations;
- cooperating in the spheres of energy security, science and technology;
- developing cooperation in the area of security and defence planning.
Special attention was paid in the programme to the confrontation with Russia. In particular, it says on the very second page of the document that the need for the intensification of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO is based on Russia’s “temporary occupation” of Crimea and Sevastopol, and “aggression against Ukraine” in Donbas. It is directly stated that in such conditions it is necessary to make use of the potential and practical assistance of NATO, as well as of individual states which are members of the Alliance, to increase Ukraine’s defence capability and conduct reforms of its armed forces and military-industrial complex that will raise them to the organisation’s standards, the goal being to counter Russia.
The programme directly ties membership in the Alliance with the country’s successful integration into the European Union. It states that “for Ukraine, distinctive partnership with NATO is an integral component of the course towards European integration as it adds the process of internal state reforms to the process of European integration… making it possible to ensure the process of integrating Ukraine into the European and Euro-Atlantic community is comprehensive and all-encompassing.”
Vice-President of the Atlantic Council of Ukraine Oleg Kokoshinsky agrees. According to him, the strategic partnership with NATO “complements the process of internal reforms within the context of implementing the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement.”