President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discussed topical issues related to the implementation of Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic course and the possibility of deepening practical cooperation with the Alliance.
The President noted the importance of intensifying the political dialogue with NATO this year for the further development of Ukraine's relations with the Alliance.
The parties praised the cooperation between Ukraine and NATO in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. The President thanked for the decision to purchase medical equipment for Ukraine at the cost of the Alliance's trust fund. The NATO Secretary General praised Ukraine's contribution, in particular that of the Antonov company, to the provision of medical care.
"Ukraine stands ready to continue cooperating with the Alliance in strategic air transportation in the framework of NATO SALIS (Strategic Airlift International Solution) program," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
He stressed that Ukraine continues Euro-Atlantic reforms and the corresponding modernization of the security and defense sector, as well as remains committed to strengthening the rule of law and eradicating corruption.
Jens Stoltenberg praised the undisputable progress on many issues and Ukraine's focus on continuing the reform of the defense sector. Volodymyr Zelenskyy added that Ukraine is committed to reform the anticorruption sector and implement the essential judicial reform.
The parties noted the priority of Ukraine's development of new forms of cooperation with NATO as a partner with enhanced opportunities, which should accelerate the process of our country's further rapprochement with the Alliance. The President thanked the Secretary General for supporting Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
"Today, the most pressing issue for Ukraine is the prospect of obtaining a NATO Membership Action Plan. I am pleased to hear that NATO's door is open for Ukraine. I am grateful that you personally and the NATO members support us in NATO membership aspirations. Our immediate goal is MAP. We are serious about the reforms, as they are first of all enhancing our defense sector,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
Jens Stoltenberg noted that the draft law on reforming the Security Service of Ukraine, which is currently considered by the parliament, will help accelerate the progress on the Euro-Atlantic path.
The President stressed the importance of cooperation with NATO to maintain security in the Black Sea. He spoke in favor of expanding the Alliance's activities in the Black Sea region and noted that Ukraine is interested in increasing the presence of NATO forces in the Black Sea.
The Secretary General of the Alliance noted that the Organization will make efforts to increase its presence in the Black Sea, and has already begun to do so. He stressed that both NATO and Allies should increase their assistance in training the Armed Forces of Ukraine on a bilateral basis. Jens Stoltenberg said he would insist on that. He also noted that the Alliance would consider how to strengthen support for Ukraine's military within the current comprehensive assistance package. He also thanked Ukraine for its participation in NATO missions.
"We continue our participation in NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. Ukraine is ready to take part in the current and future operations of the Alliance," the President assured.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited Jens Stoltenberg to take part in the celebrations on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence and in the Crimean Platform Summit in August this year. The NATO Secretary General said he was seriously considering that opportunity.