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NATO’s relations with Ukraine

NATO’s relations with Ukraine

NATO believes that a sovereign, independent and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security. NATO and Ukraine’s partnership dates back to 1997 and has, since then, developed into one of the most substantive of NATO’s partnerships. The formal basis for NATO-Ukraine relations is the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which established the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC), and the Declaration to Complement the Charter signed in 2009. Over time, NATO and Ukraine have reinforced political dialogue and practical cooperation through Ukraine’s Annual National Programme. In the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, they have been intensifying this cooperation.

NATO supports a range of initiatives in Ukraine, in particular the comprehensive defence and security sector reform process. These reforms are vital for the country’s democratic development and for strengthening Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. Ukraine contributes to NATO’s missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and in 2013 became the first partner country to contribute to the NATO-led counter-piracy operation Ocean Shield.

In response to Russia’s illegal and illegitimate “annexation” of Crimea and the violence and insecurity in eastern Ukraine caused by Russia and the Russian-backed separatists, NATO Allies have continued to express their full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.  

At the Wales Summit in September 2014, NATO Heads of State and Government met with Ukrainian President Poroshenko in the NATO-Ukraine Commission. They adopted a joint statement, which condemned Russia’s illegal and illegitimate “annexation” of Crimea and its continued and deliberate destabilisation of eastern Ukraine in violation of international law.  Allies pledged to support the efforts of the Ukrainian government to pursue a political path that meets the aspirations of the people in all regions of Ukraine without external interference.

In the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership, Allies pledged to reinforce the Annual National Programme in the defence and security sector through capability development and capacity-building programmes that will, in turn, be boosted with substantial new initiatives. In this context, Allies will launch new programmes with a focus on command, control, communications and computers (C4), logistics and standardization, cyber defence, military career transition, and strategic communications. NATO will also provide assistance to Ukraine to rehabilitate injured military personnel. Allies are reinforcing their advisory presence at the NATO offices in Kyiv.