Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 74

In Kiev yesterday, NATO secretary general Javier Solana stressed that NATO "attaches great importance to Ukraine’s independence" as a "cornerstone of stability in Europe." Solana conveyed NATO’s readiness for enhanced political, technical, and military cooperation with Ukraine. In a Kiev newspaper article he had published just before his visit, Solana wrote that "Ukraine is a European power whose independence and active contribution to the creation of a security system is of exceptional importance to Europe as a whole."

President Leonid Kuchma and his National Security Council Secretary Volodymyr Horbulin called for an open and evolutionary process of NATO enlargement eastward and for a decision to refrain from stationing tactical nuclear weapons on the territories of new member countries. They said that "Ukraine is moving toward NATO but not inside NATO" and that it intends to pursue a close, "special relationship" with the alliance in the 16 + 1 framework set up last year in Brussels. Horbulin and defense minister Valery Shmarov were also cited as saying that Ukraine’s non-bloc status will limit its moves toward NATO in the foreseeable future, but that such status "cannot be perpetual." (Interfax-Ukraine, Western agencies, April 15; Kievskie vedomosti, April 12) Kiev’s reservations regarding the possible stationing of tactical nuclear weapons on the territories of its western neighbors are not shared by them, but are dictated by concern over the range of those weapons, which would make them fall on Ukrainian territory if used in a conflict.

Turkey Offers Azerbaijan Military Assistance.