NATO’s Support: Making Ukraine More Secure and Resilient


NATO’s Support: Making Ukraine More Secure and Resilient

UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, November 3, 2016

The public event entitled “NATO’s support: Making Ukraine more secure and resilient” was held in Kyiv, in the Ukrinform, National News Agency of Ukraine, on November 3, 2016. This public event was organized by the East European Security Research Initiative Foundation with support of the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine.

The event was attended by the following speakers: Alexander VINNIKOV, Head of NATO Representation to Ukraine, Director, NATO Liaison Office; Natalia NEMYLIWSKA, Director, NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine; Iryna FRIZ, Head of the Permanent Delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly; Ihor DOLHOV, Deputy Minister of Defence for European Integration; Serhiy SHUTENKO, Director General for International Security of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine; Mark OPGENORTH, Deputy Director of the NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine; Christopher STAUDT, Building Integrity Programme Manager / NATO-Ukraine Military Career Transition Trust Fund Team Leader; Vasyl LYTVYNCHUK, Chief of NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) Office in Ukraine; Ove URUP-MADSEN, NATO Professional Development Programme Manager; Béla TÉCZELY, Advisor on С4, NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine; Mesut KÜÇÜK, Advisor on Cyber Security, NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine. The discussion was moderated by Maksym KHYLKO, Chairman, East European Security Research Initiative Foundation, and Oleksandr TYTARCHUK, Member of the Board, East European Security Research Initiative Foundation.

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At the beginning of the event, Maksym KHYLKO, Chairman of the Board, East European Security Research Initiative Foundation, stressed the relevance of the topic due to overwhelming expectations in the Ukrainian society on possible NATO support to Ukraine, preferably in lethal arms supplying. He concentrated on huge amount of work conducted by the Alliance, although not so visible, as it might appear at first glance, because of its internal nature mostly oriented on structural and functional changes in the Ukrainian defence and security structures. NATO assisted in reforming the national security and defence sector, building Ukrainian security capabilities so that Ukraine being able to protect itself effectively using available defence potential, as well as to achieve full compatibility with NATO, which would allow joining the Alliance, when conditions appeared to be ripe, Maksym Khylko noted.

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In his opening speech, Alexander VINNIKOV, Head of NATO Representation to Ukraine, pointed out that stable and strong Ukraine would be the best response to the Russian aggression. During the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the Warsaw Summit, NATO officials confirmed their determination not to recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and to support Ukraine’s defence and security sector reform.  The Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine was endorsed, which, inter alia, concerned the NATO Trust Funds activities as well. Therefore, according to Alexander Vinnikov, NATO assistance to Ukraine should not be considered as only political but also as entirely concrete one, because of practical assistance provided in reforming the national security and defence sector.

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Iryna FRIZ, Head of the Permanent Delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, stated that there was no alternative for Euro-Atlantic integration in Ukraine. The Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine endorsed at the Warsaw Summit was an unprecedented document opening real opportunities for Ukraine to demonstrate results achieved on the path of reforms. The NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine provided support in developing security sector reform, setting a technological, administrative and resources management benchmark for further development of the Ukrainian security and defence sector. Iryna Friz also informed about current discussion within the NATO cooperation framework on implementing in the Ukrainian Armed forces of a new C4-type Command and Control System being revolutionary step forward in reforming national security and defence sector.

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Director of the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine Natalia NEMYLIWSKA spoke about the objectives and mechanisms of implementation of the NATO-Ukraine Strategic Communications Partnership Roadmap signed over a year ago. This Partnership was designed to enhance and sustain a level of greater collaboration among the Ukrainian authorities and to ensure effective and credible governmental communications. The Roadmap was aimed at developing strategic communications culture and maintaining the highest standards of accuracy and ethics of governmental communications, she said.  “That is the effective communication to be the most effective counterpropaganda measure”. – stated Natalia Nemyliwska. NATO assisted in relevant advisory support, conducting trainings, improving interagency cooperation. Strategic Communications Partnership would be executed through the mindset changing and changing the procedure and relevant practices resulted in obtaining concrete outcomes. These outcomes should be the following: increased understanding of the importance and role of strategic communications for Ukraine, including on the public authority’s level; gradual inclusion of strategic communications in the Ukrainian decision-making policy; improved interagency coordination and cooperation between Ukrainian governmental structures.

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Director General for International Security of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Serhiy SHUTENKO stated that joining NATO remained to be a strategic aim of Ukraine. He also informed that preparation of the Annual National Program of Ukraine-NATO Cooperation for 2017 (ANP) should be completed by the end of November this year. Main distinctive feature of this Program, comparing with previous ones, would be the orientation on practical results on the ground. In order to enhance the ANP effectiveness a new procedure was identified for its elaboration and assessment under the auspices of the Ukraine-NATO Commission.  The program on informing Ukrainian population about NATO Activities for 2017-2020 was approved. Serhiy Shutenko also stressed that Ukrainian Government was making efforts to improve inter-agency coordination, and the post of Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration was introduced particularly to that end. He told about establishing a new trust fund for demining and countering improvised explosive devices, respective agreement on which was reached at the Warsaw Summit, and process of implementing that decision was started.

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Mark OPGENORTH, Deputy Director of the NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine, told about NATO advisory support to strengthen Ukrainian defence capabilities. In order to fulfil that task, about 15-20 NATO experts were involved together with additionally invited experts who worked in different defence related state agencies. On strategic level, the NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine in cooperation with the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine elaborated Draft Law on Security and Defence Sector Reform in Ukraine. The NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine also worked on enhancing military potential of Ukraine in logistics, medical support, communications, etc. In particular, 11 experts were engaged in assisting the Ministry of Defence on creating the conceptual approach for recruiting and personnel management policy.

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Christopher STAUDT, Building Integrity Programme Manager / NATO-Ukraine Military Career Transition Trust Fund Team Leader, reported that since December last year, nearly 8,700 military were trained for reintegration into civilian life. The Trust Fund also held a series of seminars on psychological rehabilitation for demobilized personnel suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. Building Integrity Program was also actively implemented with the aim to reduce the risks of corruption in the defence and security sector, improving transparency and management efficiency. A series of relevant meetings and trainings were organized in high education institutions, dedicated to change the thinking and attitudes of people, thereby reducing the risks of corruption.

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Oleksandr TYTARCHUK, Member of the Board, East European Security Research Initiative Foundation, in his opening remarks to the second panel stressed that the Trust Funds’ activities demonstrated practical NATO assistance to security and defence sector reform in Ukraine. He emphasized the importance of society-centric approach to the above assistance currently provided by NATO through the existing Trust Funds’ mechanism, supporting the establishment of society-oriented model for development of both the state and its security and defence sector.

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Deputy Minister of Defence for European Integration Ihor DOLHOV in his statement noted the urgency of discussing and highlighting the topic of NATO assistance to Ukraine, referring to the fact that some important aspects of the above assistance remained largely unknown to the public. As an example, Deputy Minister provided the NATO financed project on disposal of radioactive waste buried on Ukrainian territory by the former USSR Armed Forces and being a source of radioactive contamination. He stressed the significance of other NATO programs, such as Science for Peace, Building Integrity (particularly, the drafting Code of Conduct for governmental servants, countering corruptions), reforming military education system in Ukraine. According to Ihor Dolhov, NATO support to Ukraine was of the outmost importance in terms of security and defence sector reform in Ukraine.

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Ove URUP-MADSEN, NATO Professional Development Programme Manager, told about the implementation of the Professional Development Program in Ukraine. He noted that 85% of the work within the framework of the Program were related to civilian part of the defence and security sector, and only 15% of them were of purely military nature. The need for changes was emphasized, above all, in people’s thinking, as a main targeted object of reforms initiated under the Program.  Ove Urup-Madsen stressed the relevance of using pool of NATO advisers at early stage of reform, because it could be rather difficult to correct mistakes at a later stage. It was noted about the importance to monitor the implementation of projects and reforms.

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Vasyl LYTVYNCHUK, Chief of NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) Office in Ukraine was also among the speakers of the conference. NSPA Office in Ukraine was entitled to be an executive agent simultaneously coordinating activities of four Trust Funds, namely on Logistics and Standardization, Medical Rehabilitation, Disposal of Radioactive Waste and on Destruction of Anti-Personnel Landmines and Obsolete Munitions. In particular, NSPA was responsible for implementing the Medical Rehabilitation project that, inter alia, provided medical services and rehabilitation care outside of the country for injured Ukrainian servicemen and women. Additionally, NSPA assisted in reforming national rehabilitation system, including through provision of appropriate equipment to military medical rehabilitation facilities and developing competencies of professional staff. Disposal of Radioactive Waste project was highlighted among other important projects under the NSPA responsibility. With NATO financial support, the contract on retrieving of radioactive waste from Vakulenchuk military facility in Zhytomyr region was signed and almost fully implemented. The program on supplying two Ukrainian demining teams with special equipment worth 1 million Euro was also successfully fulfilled and complimented by special trainings. According to Vasyl Lytvynchuk, low motivation of the Ukrainian mid-level administrating servants as well as lack of interagency coordination were among the obstacles to the effective implementation of the above assistance projects.

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Béla TÉCZELY, Advisor on С4, NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine, pointed out that Alliance had an expectation on Ukraine to adopt a law facilitating the procedure of import of foreign equipment necessary to achieve the objectives of reform. The tactical communications program was mentioned among other important programs implemented with support of the NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine. It was noted that initial phase of the project on satellite communications equipment was under consideration at that moment.

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Mesut KÜÇÜK, Advisor on Cyber Security, NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine, told about retrospective and normative provisions of NATO – Ukraine cooperation in cyber security area. Main objectives were identified of the Trust Fund on Cyber Defence established at the end of 2014 and executed under the supervision of Romania. Mesut Küçük pointed out that major objective of the Trust Fund was providing Ukraine with the necessary support to develop its technical capabilities to counter cyber threats.

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During the event, infographics on Trust Funds’ Assistance to Ukraine and factsheet on NATO Assistance to Ukraine in Strategic Communications were presented. The infographics and factsheet were prepared by the East European Security Research Initiative Foundation with support of the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine.

 


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