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USIS Washington 
File

16 December 1997

TEXT: SOLANA STATEMENT AT NATO-UKRAINE COMMISSION MEETING

(First session of NATO-Ukraine Commission) (480)



Brussels -- "NATO-Ukraine relations are part of a dynamic process -- a
process that will continue to grow," NATO Secretary General Javier
Solana told the first session of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the
Ministerial Level December 16.


He noted that the NATO-Ukraine Commission "was created by the Charter
on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine, signed at the
Madrid Summit in July by Allied Heads of State and Government and
President Kuchma. It reflects our joint belief that, together, NATO
and Ukraine have a unique opportunity to help shape the future of
Euro-Atlantic security. Over the last few months, we have already made
substantial progress in giving life to the Charter."


Following is the text of Solana's opening statement:



(Begin text)



NATO Press Release

December 16, 1997



Opening Statement at First Session of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at
Ministerial Level by the Secretary General


Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to this
historic meeting, the first session of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at
Ministerial level. Let me extend a particular welcome to Minister
Udovenko and to his colleague Minister Kalchenko, who is here for the
signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between NATO and Ukraine on
Civil Emergency Planning.


The NATO-Ukraine Commission was created by the Charter on a
Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine, signed at the Madrid
Summit in July by Allied Heads of State and Government and President
Kuchma. It reflects our joint belief that, together, NATO and Ukraine
have a unique opportunity to help shape the future of Euro-Atlantic
security. Over the last few months, we have already made substantial
progress in giving life to the Charter.


Ukraine was one of the very first Partners to open a full-fledged
mission at NATO Headquarters under the provisions of the Brussels
agreement.


The NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv -- in operation
since last May -- has played a key role in enhancing information
efforts in Ukraine. The untimely death of the Centre's first director,
Roman Lishchynski, has left a deep void. But his pioneering work has
laid a solid basis on which we are determined to build.


Today, we will take stock of our cooperation to date. We will approve
a substantive work plan for 1998, which covers consultation and
practical cooperation in many areas, including with the newly
established Peacekeeping Coordination Centre in Kyiv. A prominent
element of our work plan will be the Joint Working Group on Defence
Reform, which will focus on civil-military relations, and help
familiarize Ukrainian officials with the process of defense planning
and budgeting in the armed forces of Allied nations.


As these examples demonstrate NATO-Ukraine relations are part of a
dynamic process -- a process that will continue to grow.


(End text)