Speaking in Brussels after the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer appreciated deeply the development of democratic processes in Ukraine and the progress made, NATO official web-site informs.
“If the quality of NATO-Ukraine relationship were to be judged on the frequency of our consultations, the frequency with which Minister Borys Tarasyuk and I or NATO ambassadors or NATO ministers meet, we would score top marks already. We see high level visits of Ukrainian officials, including from the Prime Minister Yekhanurov to NATO Headquarters. We saw the NAC visits to Ukraine. We had the high level consultations on defence issues in Vilnius. And I think we've made a lot of progress in a short time.
Our experts are having frank discussions on the political, economic, defence, military and legal aspects of membership obligations. Plenty of work to do, but this is taking place. And we expect Ukraine to up the pace of necessary reforms, strengthening democratic institutions, fighting corruption and modernizing the whole of its defence and security structure... sector, in the broad sense of the word,” told Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.
Secretary General also underlined that there is still much work to do and assured that NATO and individual Allies would continue to help where they can.
“It goes without saying that the conduct of the parliamentary elections in spring '06 will be of great importance. Unnecessary to say that NATO has no favourites in this democratic campaign, but we expect the quality of the process to meet international standards, and we also hope that those who are elected will continue to support reform.
There's no need, however, for Ukraine to demonstrate its determination to contribute to NATO's operations. That's already clear, and in that respect Ukraine is helping to export security and export stability in Afghanistan, in Kosovo, as well as plans for Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean; Darfur.
We will look to strengthen our cooperation, including perhaps for the training mission in Iraq and elsewhere.
Ukraine is now a solid contributor to international security. We applaud that, we support it, and we will help Ukraine to reach her goals for integration.
But ultimately, success for Ukraine will be made in Ukraine and by Ukraine,” said the Secretary General.
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