Tuesday, April 8, 2008

President takes part in Ukraine-Nato Commission meeting

President Victor Yushchenko took part in Ukraine-Nato Commission meeting in Bucharest today.

In his speech President expressed assurance that in December 2008 Ukraine shall be granted MAP during the North Atlantic Council Fooreign Ministers meeting.

Victor Yushchenko stressed that with its yesterday’s decision the North Atlantic Council gave a clear signal to Ukraine regarding further development of the state’s relations with the Alliance. “We are grateful to the Alliance and its member-states for their support of Euro-Atlantic aspirations of our state”, - he said, pointing also to the fact that Bucharest Summit became the first time, when it was clearly stated: Ukraine will join NATO.

From his part NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who was opening the Ukraine-Nato Commission meeting, stressed that today the new stage of NATO-Ukraine relations development has started. He also noted that obviously on a political level Ukraine has to ensure that it fulfills all the requirements of joining MAP. “We appreciate greatly our cooperation with you and willing to push it forward”, - he said. According to him Ukraine has already made substantial progress in bringing its security and defense sectors in conformity with NATO standards.

Before the meeting of Ukraine-Nato Commission President Victor Yushchenko and NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer had bilateral talks. In the talks President Yushchenko reaffirmed to Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer that Ukraine's course toward Euro-Atlantic integration stays firm. Also Foreign Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Ohryzko and Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer signed additional protocols to Memorandum on NATO Information and Documentation Centre establishment (signed May 7, 1997) and to Memorandum of Understanding on the appointment of NATO Liaison Officers in Kyiv (December 9, 1998). According to the protocols the staff of the Centre, the Liaison Officers and their families will be provided with diplomatic immunities those of other diplomats accredited to Ukraine.