Foreign Policy Research Institute

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Foreign Policy Research Institute

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Cooperation with NATO, protection of the Black Sea Region and reconsideration of conditions of the Association Agreement with the EU

On May 5, 2020, a large-scale international high-level videoconference was held to discuss the European and Euro-Atlantic integration issues of Ukraine. The event, which was attended by 39 participants, was jointly organized by the NATO Representation to Ukraine, as well as Canadian and British Embassies in Ukraine, as contact embassies of the North Atlantic Alliance. The importance of the event was highlighted by the participation of Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, Vadym Prystaiko and representatives of the diplomatic corps of NATO member-states accredited in Ukraine. The event allowed for live web communication between representatives of the government of Ukraine and heads and representatives of the diplomatic corps in our state. The fact of helding such a conference was another evidence of the effective adaptation of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to the current restrictions caused by the pandemic and the maintenance of a proper military-political dialogue at a high level.

As part of the event, the Minister of Defense familiarized foreign representatives with the current state of implementation of the defense reform and outlined the main priorities of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the development of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Special emphasis was placed on the urgent need to achieve comprehensive interoperability with the Alliance states and implement NATO standards in daily activities.

The information of Ukrainian officials was welcomed by foreign partners. The head of the NATO Representation to Ukraine and Director of the NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine, Alexander Vinnikov told the conference participants about the measures that NATO and its member-states are taking to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting Ukraine's role in helping NATO allies by providing air transport of large medical supplies. The event has shown a constructive attitude of its participants to further cooperation aimed at ensuring the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine and strengthening the defense capability of our state.[1]

Subsequently, on May 7, 2020, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, Vadym Prystaiko stated that Ukraine is ready to join NATO in developing joint measures to protect the Black Sea Region and combat the COVID-19 coronavirus disease. "Ukraine and NATO should develop a strategy to contain Russia in the Black Sea Region in information, economic, legal and military fields. In addition, Ukraine would like to see a greater presence of NATO and U.S. Naval Forces in the Black Sea"[2]. The Vice Prime Minister stressed that the large-scale disinformation campaign conducted by the Russian Federation poses a separate threat during the pandemic.

In this context, the new National Security Strategy of Poland, which was approved on May 12, 2020, by the President, Andrzej Duda deserves attention. Russia's aggressive policy is specified as the main threat in this Strategy. The document provides for the preparation and introduction of the Law on Governance and National Security, which will establish a hierarchy of strategic planning documents related to the national security. The document describes the security situation, threats and problems, as well as the desired actions. After the signing of this strategic document, A. Duda said that the strategy primarily reflects the changes that have occurred in Poland and in the world over the past five years[3].

Among the urgent problems that Ukraine faced in implementing the European integration course, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, Vadym Prystaiko noted: " It's a right moment now, because we have just reached the ten-year period when we can reconsider the conditions, which our producers are waiting for. After all, most of the quotas provided for by the Agreement are no longer acceptable for us, we have passed the stage of first contacts with the European Union within the framework of the Tariff-Free Trade Agreement. I hope that we will reconsider the terms of the Agreement - ed.)," Prystaiko said. According to the Vice Prime Minister, it is now extremely important to remove roaming restrictions, or "industrial visa-free regime", so that Ukrainian goods that come to European markets would not have to pass certification. Regarding the risk of non-compliance by Ukraine of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, Pristayko noted: "There is no risk of non-compliance. There is a risk that we will not be able to achieve what we want, that is, we have much more ambition than reality".[4]

Thus, during these days, Ukraine paid attention to important issues of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. It should be noted that the initiative to create deterrence strategy of the Black Sea Region will allow Ukraine not only to focus on creating and improving its own armed forces, but also to expand military cooperation with Poland, which has identified Russian aggression as the main threat in the new National Security Strategy. Regarding the promotion of our European integration, an important improvement will be reconsideration of conditions of the Association Agreement with the EU, because Ukraine is concerned that today's conditions are written for it as for a state with a commodity economy.


[1]Міністр оборони взяв участь у міжнародній відеоконференції високого рівня, присвяченій обговоренню питань європейської та євроатлантичної інтеграції України:

[2]Україна готова разом із НАТО приєднатися до розробки спільних заходів щодо захисту Чорноморського регіону та боротьби з Covid-19:

[3]Президент Польщі підписав стратегію нацбезпеки, де РФ названа головною загрозою:

[4]Українські виробники чекають перегляду умов Угоди про асоціацію з ЄС — Пристайко: