New chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties

In 2020, for the first time in his­tory, Kyiv will host the spring ses­sion of the NATO Par­lia­men­tary Assem­bly

The Ukrainian Week - - CONTENTS - Alexan­der Vin­nikov, head of NATO Rep­re­sen­ta­tion to Ukraine and NATO Li­ai­son Of­fice in Ukraine

On the per­spec­tives of Ukraine-NATO di­a­logue

“This is a time of re­newal for Ukraine. A new Pres­i­dent. A new Par­lia­ment. New op­por­tu­ni­ties for all Ukrainian cit­i­zens.” Th­ese were the open­ing lines of NATO Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Jens Stoltenber­g’s ad­dress to the Verkhovna Rada dur­ing the re­cent visit of the North At­lantic Coun­cil to Ukraine.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of all NATO Al­lies and North Mace­do­nia (soon to be our 30th mem­ber) spent two days in the coun­try, vis­it­ing both Odesa and Kyiv on 30-31 Oc­to­ber. The visit was a strong sig­nal of sup­port to Ukraine. A sig­nal that NATO is and will re­main by Ukraine’s side. NATO will con­tinue to sup­port Ukraine’s sovereignt­y and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity. Al­lies are also com­mit­ted to sup­port Ukraine’s ef­forts to re­form its se­cu­rity and de­fence in­sti­tu­tions.

Ukraine has come a long way, and there is fur­ther to go. NATO will stand with Ukraine be­cause we share the same val­ues. A love for free­dom and democ­racy. Re­spect for hu­man rights and the rule of law. It is not easy to pro­tect those val­ues and prin­ci­ples in an ever-chang­ing se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment.



This has been NATO’s fun­da­men­tal mis­sion through­out its 70-year ex­is­tence. It is based on the con­vic­tion that like­minded Al­lied na­tions that share the same val­ues shall stand to­gether in sol­i­dar­ity and friend­ship. And, should the need arise, will de­fend and pro­tect each other, in­clud­ing on the bat­tle­field. There are dif­fer­ences among Al­lies on a range of dif­fer­ent is­sues. Such dif­fer­ences are not new. Yet de­spite them, or per­haps thanks to them, NATO has been able to grow stronger since the sig­na­ture of the Wash­ing­ton Treaty in 1949. And as we mark our 70th an­niver­sary this year, the Al­liance con­tin­ues to pro­vide se­cu­rity for its nearly 1 bil­lion peo­ple.

NATO has strength­ened its de­ter­rence and de­fence, with more forces at higher readi­ness. Next year, 20,000 U.S. troops will cross the At­lantic as part of U.S.-led ex­er­cise DE­FENDER 2020 – the largest de­ploy­ment of U.S. forces to Eu­rope for an ex­er­cise in the last 25 years. North Amer­ica and Eu­rope are do­ing more to­gether now than in many years. Al­lies are also stepping up our re­sponse against cy­ber at­tacks and hy­brid threats, in­clud­ing with new base­line re­quire­ments for re­silient telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions.

In­ten­si­fy­ing our co­op­er­a­tion with part­ners in th­ese and many other ar­eas re­mains in our core in­ter­est. In 2020 NATO will con­tinue to de­velop its part­ner­ships with friends across the globe, amongst which Ukraine has a dis­tinc­tive part­ner sta­tus.

NATO Al­lies strongly sup­port Ukraine’s sovereignt­y and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity, and its right to de­cide its own fu­ture. NATO does not, and will not, recog­nise Rus­sia’s il­le­gal an­nex­a­tion of Crimea. Crimea is the ter­ri­tory of Ukraine. We also con­demn Rus­sia’s ag­gres­sive ac­tions in the Black Sea re­gion and its sup­port pro­vided to the mil­i­tant groups in eastern Ukraine.

2019 brought new de­vel­op­ments in the Tri­lat­eral Con­tact Group and a new dy­namic for Nor­mandy di­a­logue. Al­lies com­mended Pres­i­dent Ze­len­skiy's com­mit­ment to the peace­ful res­o­lu­tion of the con­flict. There are high hopes that 2020 will bring fur­ther progress, how­ever the con­flict in Don­bas con­tin­ues to claim lives. It has been re­it­er­ated by NATO’s lead­er­ship many times that the onus is now on Rus­sia to with­draw its troops, equip­ment and sup­port for mil­i­tants in eastern Ukraine. NATO will con­tinue to sup­port the ef­forts of the Nor­mandy for­mat, the Tri­lat­eral Con­tact Group and the OSCE.

In ad­di­tion to po­lit­i­cal sup­port, NATO will con­tinue to pro­vide Ukraine with prac­ti­cal sup­port. Such sup­port, de­liv­ered as part of NATO’s Com­pre­hen­sive As­sis­tance Pack­age for Ukraine, makes a real dif­fer­ence.

Through ten Trust Funds, NATO Al­lies have pledged over forty mil­lion eu­ros in ar­eas such as com­mand and con­trol, cy­ber de­fence and med­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. We are help­ing wounded ser­vice men and women get the med­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal treat­ment they need, and we sup­port Team Ukraine’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the In­vic­tus Games. We are help­ing strengthen Ukraine’s re­silience to hy­brid threats and cy­ber at­tacks.

We are also in­creas­ing our sup­port in the Black Sea re­gion, with ex­er­cises, port vis­its and in­for­ma­tion sharing. In 2020 NATO and Ukraine will con­duct a ta­ble-top ex­er­cise on a sce­nario re­lated to hy­brid threats in the Black Sea re­gion – a prac­ti­cal ex­am­ple of the in­creased NATO sup­port re­lated to Black Sea chal­lenges, de­cided by Al­lied For­eign Min­is­ters in April 2019.

We are com­mit­ted to help­ing Ukraine bet­ter pro­vide for its se­cu­rity and im­ple­ment structural re­forms. This is where the NATO Rep­re­sen­ta­tion to Ukraine’s ad­vis­ers play a key role, work­ing day-to-day with Ukrainian in­sti­tu­tions to im­ple­ment se­cu­rity and de­fence re­forms and en­hance Ukraine’s re­silience in line with Euro-At­lantic stan­dards and prin­ci­ples.

The year 2020 will launch a new cy­cle of de­fence and se­cu­rity plan­ning in Ukraine. A new Na­tional Se­cu­rity Strat­egy, Mil­i­tary Se­cu­rity Strat­egy, Strate­gic De­fence Bul­letin and sev­eral se­cu­rity and de­fence re­views should be adopted and im­ple­mented. Th­ese will be de­ci­sive in terms of set­ting Ukraine’s strate­gic pri­or­i­ties for the years ahead. It will re­quire much strate­gic think­ing, as well as strate­gic act­ing. Chal­leng­ing re­form tasks for 2020 will in­clude strength­en­ing civil­ian con­trol and demo­cratic over­sight of de­fence, se­cu­rity and in­tel­li­gence bod­ies, im­prov­ing the com­mand and con­trol sys­tem for

Ukraine’s de­fence forces, en­sur­ing good gov­er­nance and tack­ling cor­rup­tion in the se­cu­rity and de­fence sec­tor.

Ukraine’s so­ci­ety is look­ing for vis­i­ble progress in this and other ar­eas. And NATO will con­tinue sup­port­ing Ukraine in achiev­ing such progress. In 2020 we look for­ward to sig­nif­i­cant fur­ther steps in im­ple­ment­ing the frame­work Law on Na­tional Se­cu­rity, the adop­tion of which was wel­comed by Al­lies in 2018 as an im­por­tant step bring­ing Ukraine closer to Eu­ro­pean and Euro-At­lantic stan­dards and prin­ci­ples. To­day, and in 2020, there is a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity to trans­late the vi­sion set out in this law into tan­gi­ble re­forms and re­sults.

Among those steps, the re­form of the Se­cu­rity Ser­vice of Ukraine re­mains a key el­e­ment. Through its Rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Kyiv, NATO has – jointly with the EU and U.S. as part of the In­ter­na­tional Ad­vi­sory Group (IAG) – been sup­port­ing Ukraine with ad­vice on SBU re­form for over three years. As in any democ­racy, re­form of the se­cu­rity and in­tel­li­gence ser­vices in Ukraine is a sen­si­tive mat­ter. It is un­likely to suc­ceed if it is not shaped through wider in­ter­nal di­a­logue among mul­ti­ple na­tional stake­hold­ers. And clearly, there is no magic, one-siz­e­fits-all, off-the-shelf so­lu­tion.

But Ukraine’s Eu­ro­pean and Euro-At­lantic part­ners would wel­come the SBU’s trans­for­ma­tion into a de-politi­cized and ef­fec­tive se­cu­rity agency fo­cus­ing on the core tasks de­fined by the Law on Na­tional Se­cu­rity: counter-in­tel­li­gence, coun­tert­er­ror­ism and pro­tec­tion of state se­crets. Co­op­er­a­tion and ex­change with the Euro-At­lantic se­cu­rity and in­tel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ties, based on mu­tual trust, would also ben­e­fit from progress on re­form.

The Verkhovna Rada’s new con­vo­ca­tion al­ready made a strong start in 2019. NATO looks for­ward to Par­lia­ment’s ac­tive sup­port to the re­form of Ukraine’s se­cu­rity and de­fence sec­tor. At the same time, it is im­por­tant to find a bal­ance be­tween “turbo-mode” speed and Euro-At­lantic qual­ity of adopted leg­is­la­tion. That is why strength­en­ing Par­lia­ment’s ca­pac­ity will re­main one of the key di­rec­tions of our ad­vi­sory sup­port.

In May 2020 Ukraine is set to host – for the first time in its his­tory – the spring ses­sion of the NATO Par­lia­men­tary Assem­bly. This ma­jor hap­pen­ing will bring hun­dreds of Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment from NATO mem­ber states to Kyiv, en­abling them to en­gage with their coun­ter­parts in the Verkhovna Rada, and learn more about this coun­try and its free­dom-lov­ing peo­ple.

To be sure, 2020 will bring new chal­lenges and new op­por­tu­ni­ties for both Ukraine and NATO. NATO will con­tinue to sup­port Ukraine’s am­bi­tious re­form agenda, which is cru­cial to achiev­ing a pros­per­ous and peace­ful Ukraine, firmly an­chored among the fam­ily of Eu­ro­pean democ­ra­cies. And we highly value Ukraine’s con­tin­ued con­tri­bu­tion to NATO-led mis­sions and op­er­a­tions around the world, espe­cially while fac­ing grave threats at home. This shows Ukraine’s strong com­mit­ment to be a con­trib­u­tor to in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity.

NATO, as well as Ukraine, learned the his­toric les­son that peace and se­cu­rity can never be taken for granted. Ukraine is pays a lot of ef­fort to im­ple­ment wide-rang­ing re­forms, strengthen its de­fence ca­pa­bil­i­ties and en­hance its abil­ity to pro­vide for its own se­cu­rity. And NATO will con­tinue to stand by Ukraine’s side and sup­port th­ese ef­forts through all the avail­able in­stru­ments our Dis­tinc­tive Part­ner­ship of­fers.

Jens Stoltenber­g in Odesa. NATO Mem­ber States has been steadily sup­port­ing the sovereignt­y and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of Ukraine

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