Foreign Policy Research Institute

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Foreign Policy Research Institute

tel. +38 (044) 287 52 58

NTERNATIONAL WEEKLY № 19 (01.12.2017 — 15.12.2017)

Meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Inter-parliamentary Council and further steps of Ukraine towards integration into the Alliance

At the end of November this year, a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Inter-Parliamentary Council in Brussels was held, which took place in a constructive spirit. It had interesting agenda which included the following issues: public diplomacy mechanisms; resistance of Ukraine, NATO, the EU to the Russian hybrid war; the situation in the Donbas and Crimea; foreign policy priorities and the role of parliament [1]. Within the framework of the event, a presentation of the Ukrainian report entitled ‘The Russian subversive information-psychological operations in the Social Media’ was held. The meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Council was held in Brussels under the chairmanship of Verkhovna Rada First Deputy Speaker Iryna Gerashchenko and a NATO Parliamentary Assembly memberCanadian Senator Raynell Andreychuk.

According to the results of the meeting, the Statement of the co-chairmen of the Ukraine-NATO Inter-parliamentary Council was adopted, which contains confirmation of support of Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine through inter-parliamentary cooperation; the call of member states to continue to provide assistance to Ukraine and increase support for Kyiv towards the maximum institutional rapprochement with NATO, as well as the condemnation of the illegal occupation of the Crimea by Russia and its direct support to the illegal armed forces operating in the region, as well as the use of its cyber and information warfare and other destabilizing actions. At the same time, the statement calls to Ukraine to fight corruption and to full  use of the Alliance's assistance package. ‘We urge the Ukrainian authorities to make full use of the potential of the ANP and a comprehensive package of assistance, to maintain the consistency and temp of reforms, to focus on the implementation of agreed priorities. Goals, ambitions and timing of the tasks of the ANP should reflect the country's goals in order to become a member of the Alliance. At the same time, the key task is to strengthen the rule of law and fight against corruption, which should lead to the adoption of democratic standards and the establishment of effective mechanisms for the protection of human rights for all citizens’, – the statement says [2].

Member of the Belgian delegation Damien Thiery assured: ‘Ukraine is a strategic country. You can fully count on the support of Belgium. I am sure, that Ukraine will be able together with NATO to stop the Russians aggression’ [3].  Given the close cooperation between Kyiv and NATO is in the political circles now talking about the right to grant Ukraine the status of a post-graduate country (Aspiring country) and the MAP. As we have noted earlier, for this, there is often a lack of desire for leadership of the country. Vadym Prystaiko believes that Ukraine should demonstrate readiness for rapprochement with the Alliance, and this will facilitate obtaining the status of a ‘aspiring country’ [4].

The Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze said during a meeting of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada on Foreign Affairs on December 7: ‘Our task is to reach a qualitative rather than quantitative assessment of the implementation of the ANP. The objectives of the document should be in line with the quality and quantity of activities carried out by the relevant ministries. This approach will make it possible to get closer to NATO standards and get an Alliance Action Plan’[5].

She also she added that one of the tools that would activate this process could be Ukraine's participation in the Enhanced Opportunity Program. ‘We go to NATO not as petitioners, but as equal partners. We have something to offer the Alliance. Ukraine is involved in almost all NATO programs, our army is one of the most capable in Europe, Ukrainian troops are present in Afghanistan and in Kosovo under the auspices of NATO. This is a serious argument, in my opinion’, – stressed Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze [5]. In addition, she believes that Ukraine should raise the question of obtaining a NATO Membership Action Plan, despite the lack of consensus in the Alliance [6].

Statement by the Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine gives the reasons to believe that Ukraine will defend the granting to it the status of ‘aspiring country’ and MAP. At the same time, despite the results of the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Inter-Parliamentary Council and the statements of some politicians in support of Ukraine, we must not forget about the tensions within the Alliance. Given the political situation in Europe and the world to reach consensus on political issues, will be more difficult with the time. The position of Hungary in the Alliance regarding Ukraine also makes its adjustments. It is worth noting that quite often Kiev itself provokes dissatisfaction with NATO, primarily because of corruption and inhibition of reforms. Therefore, Ukraine does not need to delay, but to initiate and prove practically its aspirations for integration, and the sooner we will get the MAP, the more confident Ukraine's position will be in the international arena.