Following consultations at NATO headquarters in the 16 + 1 (NATO + Ukraine) framework, National Security and Defense Council head Volodymyr Horbulin outlined the approved plan of cooperation between Ukraine and the alliance for the 1999-2001 period. Going well beyond Partnership for Peace, and reflecting the NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership Charter signed in 1997, the three-year cooperation plan is the most ambitious concluded by NATO with any partner country. In addition to military exercises and political consultations, the plan envisages joint activities in military science and industry, standardization and interoperability of military equipment, the use of information systems, airspace control, space exploration, prevention of nuclear proliferation and antiterrorism efforts.
NATO is to expand its Information Center in Ukraine and will, in addition, station two liaison officers in Kyiv–apparently the embryo of a military mission. President Leonid Kuchma will next April attend the NATO summit in Washington. Approximately twenty Ukrainian government agencies involved in the program have earmarked the funding in their 1999 budgets. Observing that NATO “currently determines policies in Western, Central and Eastern Europe,” Horbulin described the NATO-Ukraine cooperation as “providing building blocks for NATO’s strategic concept of partnership” with other eastern countries as well (UNIAN, December 2, 3). An interagency task force in Kyiv was responsible for drafting this plan as a “state plan of Ukraine” entitled to priority funding (see the Monitor, November 11).–VS
KHARKIV INITIATIVE GETS OFF THE GROUND.