Ukraine-NATO relations are at the highest level today, as stated by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko after the visit to the NATO Headquarters and the meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
In the joint press statement after the visit to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and the NATO Special Operations Headquarters, the President noted: "It is always a pleasure to be in a circle of true friends and allies. In these difficult times, NATO demonstrates a reliable format of support and we are grateful for this assistance".
According to Petro Poroshenko, the parties exchanged opinions on the enhancement of interaction for the provision of adequate response to the increasing military presence of the Russian aggressor in the region, inter alia, in Donbas. Petro Poroshenko informed Jens Stoltenberg on the number of Russian occupation troops in the east of Ukraine. "We also discussed the situation in the occupied Crimea and the growing militarization of the peninsula. It is clear that we can neutralize this threat solely by joint and coordinated actions," the President said.
The interlocutors also outlined plans for the future and discussed the holding of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. "I informed the NATO Secretary General on the results of my negotiations with the President of Poland and confirmed willingness of the Ukrainian party to participate in the NATO events in 2016," the Head of State noted.
"With joint and specific steps, we are paving the way to achieving our goal," Petro Poroshenko said. According to the President, the goal of Ukraine is to ensure full interoperability between the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the NATO Armed Forces by 2020. "This is the roadmap enshrined in the Military Doctrine adopted by the NSDC of Ukraine. I am sure we will decisively implement these reforms," he stressed.
Another goal is to execute a complex of domestic political and defense reforms to ensure that we have reached the criteria of NATO, as stated by the President.
Petro Poroshenko expressed gratitude for the assurance of NATO's readiness to continue providing comprehensive practical, advisory and logistical support to Ukraine.
"I am confident that after today's signature of the Roadmap of Military-Technical Cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, we will have a significant growth of this format of support," he said.
In the near future, several documents aimed at strengthening Ukraine's defense capacity will be signed.
In his turn, Jens Stoltenberg informed that the parties had discussed ways to further enhance partnership between Ukraine and NATO. "NATO will continue to provide both political and practical support for Ukraine," he said.
"Ukraine has shown commitment in implementing reforms. Continued progress on reforms and political stability is essential to building a strong, democratic and stable Ukraine. I urge you to continue on this path. This will be good for Ukraine and European security. As you undertake this important work at a critical time in Ukraine's history, you have a committed friend and a strong partner in NATO," Jens Stoltenberg stated.
Answering the question about the expectations from the NATO Summit in Warsaw, the NATO Secretary General said: "We will continue strengthening our partnership. I am confident that the summit will recognize substantial progress of Ukraine in the reform of the Armed Forces and security sector. It will also demonstrate strong solidarity with Ukraine. We will keep on providing practical aid for Ukraine".
He noted a significant number of projects that will help modernize command and control, cyber capacities, logistics, training and other military spheres of Ukraine. NATO also sees prospects for strengthening cooperation in the sphere of special operation forces.
Jens Stoltenberg informed that substantial attention was paid to the military-technical and defense cooperation. "There is a great number of projects and there are more to come," he said.
He also informed that the number of employees in the NATO Liaison Office in Kyiv would be increased and it would facilitate cooperation.