Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 136

In the presence of U.S. defense secretary William Cohen, the Cooperative Neighbor-97 joint exercise in Ukraine came to an end on July 11. Some 1,200 soldiers from the U.S., Greece, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Macedonia participated in the 11-day exercise. It was held at the Yavoriv testing grounds in western Ukraine within the framework of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. Ukrainian defense minister Oleksandr Kuzmuk stated after talks with Cohen that financial constraints preclude the transition of Ukrainian forces to NATO military standards in the foreseeable future. Cohen for his part remarked that Ukraine’s participation in joint exercises represents the most promising avenue of cooperation with NATO.

In Kyiv on July 12 Cohen stated that a "democratic and stable Ukraine will be a keystone of European security." He also noted president Leonid Kuchma’s "courage in taking important steps on the path to economic reforms." That same day, however, also in Kyiv, senior U.S. economic officials urged Kuchma and cabinet ministers to promote the reforms more energetically against parliamentary resistance. (Ukrainian agencies, July 11-12)

Pro-Presidential Hard-liner Elected Leader of Armenia’s Ruling Party.