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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 30, 1997


Charter on a Distinctive NATO-Ukraine Partnership

On May 29, NATO Secretary General Solana and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Udovenko initialed at a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Sintra, Portugal a "Charter on a Distinctive NATO -Ukraine Partnership." The Charter lays the foundation for the development of a strong, enduring relationship between NATO and Ukraine. It is anticipated that the Charter will be signed in Madrid when President Clinton travels to Europe for the NATO Summit.

President Clinton congratulated NATO and Ukraine for their hard work toward completing the Charter since he met President Kuchma in Washington on May 16. President Clinton noted that the Charter represents a political commitment at the highest level and constitutes an important step toward his goal of a secure and undivided Europe. An independent, prosperous and stable Ukraine is key to building a more integrated and secure Europe.

The Charter provides the framework for an open-ended and evolving NATO-Ukraine relationship through consultation and cooperation on issues of common concern. It contains five sections.

Section I provides the context for an enhanced NATO-Ukraine relationship. NATO and Ukraine affirm their intent to broaden and strengthen their cooperation and to develop a distinctive and effective relationship to promote further stability in Europe.

Section II details the principles on which NATO and Ukraine will base their relationship, including the recognition that the security of all states in the OSCE area is indivisible. It affirms common respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all other states.

Section III lists areas for consultation and cooperation between NATO and Ukraine. These include political and security-related subjects, including the security of Ukraine, NATO-Ukraine military cooperation and interoperability, civil-military relations, civil emergency planning and support for Ukrainian defense reform.

Section IV outlines the practical arrangements for consultation and cooperation between NATO and Ukraine. These include meetings of the North Atlantic Council and appropriate NATO committees with Ukraine, reciprocal high-level visits and establishment of a Ukrainian military liaison mission in Brussels.

Section IV also provides that the North Atlantic Council will meet periodically with Ukraine as the NATO-Ukraine Commission to assess broadly the implementation of the relationship and suggest ways to further develop cooperation. The Commission will meet at least twice annually.

Section V welcomes and supports the fact that Ukraine received, as a non-nuclear weapon state, security assurances from the five nuclear powers when it acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It underscores that NATO and Ukraine will cooperate on adaptation of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty to reflect the changed security environment since the Treaty was signed in 1990. They will also cooperate in developing a crisis consultative mechanism.

The Charter does not provide any new NATO security guarantees to Ukraine, which under the terms of the Washington Treaty are available only to NATO members. The Charter allows the development of a crisis consultative mechanism and provides for consultation should Ukraine perceive a direct threat to its territorial integrity. The Charter does not restrict NATO's ability to act unilaterally.

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