NATO Heads of State and Government reaffirmed their support for Ukraine's sovereignty and independence, territorial integrity, democratic development, economic prosperity, 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. In this context they reaffirmed the historic importance of Ukraine's decision to voluntarily remove nuclear weapons from its territory.
The President of Ukraine reaffirmed his country's determination to continue its efforts to implement democratic political, economic and defense reforms as well as to pursue its goal of integration in European and transatlantic structures. He affirmed that the recent accession to NATO of Poland and Hungary, two neighbours of Ukraine, together with the Czech Republic, is a significant contribution to stability in Europe.
We discussed the evolving challenges facing Euro-Atlantic security, the consequent adaptation of the Alliance and Ukraine's contribution to stability in Europe. NATO Allies reaffirmed their conviction that Ukraine should continue to play an increasingly important role toward improving security in Central and Eastern Europe and in the continent as a whole.
We exchanged views on the crisis in Kosovo and on the approaches followed by NATO and Ukraine aimed at reaching our common goal of a long-lasting and just peace in the region. We welcomed the statement by the United Nations Secretary General on 9 April on the crisis, and support the effort to achieve a political settlement in the form of a peaceful, multi-ethnic and democratic Kosovo in which all its people can live in security and enjoy universal human rights and freedoms on an equal basis. NATO Allies acknowledged Ukraine's important contribution to the NATO-led peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission.
We welcomed the progress achieved in the implementation of our Distinctive Partnership since the signing of the Charter in Madrid and look forward to the realization of its full potential. We are satisfied with the development of a wide range of consultations and cooperation between NATO and Ukraine, at Summit, Ministerial, and Ambassadorial levels, as well as at the level of appropriate Committees and government bodies such as Ukraine’s State Interagency Commission for Relations with NATO.
We reviewed Ukraine's participation in the Partnership for Peace Programme and in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, and expressed our common desire to see Ukraine progressively take full advantage of the opportunities offered therein. We noted the progress that has already been made towards the implementation of the NATO-Ukraine Work Plan for 1999. Ukraine's State Programme of Cooperation with NATO until 2001 outlines potential additional areas for cooperation, and we look forward to further discussions at Ministerial and Ambassadorial level on how to improve and prioritise future Work Plans.
We welcome the appointment of the two NATO Liaison Officers in Kyiv. We are confident they will contribute to facilitating Ukraine's work in PfP as well as strengthening contacts between NATO and Ukraine.
We are determined to ensure continued support for the NATO Information and Documentation Centre, established in Kyiv in May 1997, which plays an increasingly important role in providing the Ukrainian public with objective and complete information about NATO's role as a factor of stability and security in Europe.
We appreciate the meetings of the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform, appropriately followed up at the expert level, as an effective instrument to catalyze the reform of the Ukrainian defense establishment, especially in the areas of civil-military relations, defense budgeting and training.
We are convinced that the designation of the Yavoriv Training Area as a PfP training centre provides a useful instrument for joint exercises and training opportunities and we encourage all Partners to take advantage of them. We underlined that multinational peacekeeping units will play an important role in meeting future challenges of European security and therefore welcome and support the creation of the Joint Polish-Ukrainian peacekeeping battalion, as well as other multinational units with Ukrainian participation.
We highly value the work of the NATO-Ukraine Joint Group on Emergency Situations. We also appreciate NATO-Ukraine consultations in the context of the Conference of National Armaments Directors and on-going consultation and cooperation in the fields of economic security, defence industrial restructuring, downsizing and conversion and retraining of retired military officers, research and technology as well as scientific and environmental affairs.
We requested the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Ambassadorial session to oversee the implementation of the measures embodied in this declaration and the further development of the NATO-Ukraine distinctive partnership under the terms of the Charter.
PRESS COMMUNIQUE NUC-S(99)68 For immediate release
24 April 1999
OF THE HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATING
IN THE NATO-UKRAINE COMMISSION SUMMIT
WASHINGTON, 24 APRIL 1999
- We, the Heads of State and Government of the 19 member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and of Ukraine, met today for our first Summit to review the implementation of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which was signed in Madrid in July 1997, and its role in Euro-Atlantic security.