HomeMEDIA RESOURCES20034 March 2003 - NATO PA and Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Members Strengthen Ties
4 March 2003 - NATO PA and Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Members Strengthen Ties
On 3 and 4 March, the NATO PA-Ukrainian Rada Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) met at NATO headquarters for briefings and discussions with senior NATO and Ukrainian officials. The Joint Monitoring Group, consisting of parliamentarians from NATO nations and Ukrainian Rada, was established in 1998 in response to the call in the NATO-Ukraine Charter to strengthen the parliamentary dimension of the NATO-Ukrainian relationship. The Group is co-chaired by Oleksander ZINCHENKO (Ukraine) and Peter VIGGERS (United Kingdom).
Members of the JMG welcomed the decision by the NATO-Ukraine Commission at Reykjavik in May 2002 to enhance relations and the many concrete measures being taken towards fulfilling Ukraine's aspiration to integration in Euro-Atlantic structures. Many senior NATO officials including Ambassador Günther Altenburg, Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, and Dr. Edgar Buckley, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Planning and Operations briefed the Group. Most of the briefings and subsequent discussions focused on the development and implementation of Ukraine’s Action Plan.
Members noted that this Action Plan has a substantial parliamentary dimension and that the NATO Parliamentary Assembly could play a role in assisting with those aspects. Members also noted the Rada’s recommendation on 21 November 2002, and in particular support by the Rada for Ukraine’s membership of NATO. Mr. Viggers said "For over a decade, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly has worked very closely with the parliaments of nations seeking NATO membership. This experience and expertise should now be applied to assist Ukraine in its movement towards eventual NATO membership".
Members of the JMG felt that the strengthened relationship between NATO and Ukraine should be reflected at the parliamentary level. Mr Viggers agreed to propose to the Assembly’s Standing Committee - the Assembly's governing body - that the Joint Monitoring Group should evolve to reflect this, and to present the Group’s ideas on how this might be achieved. Members of the joint NATO PA/Ukrainian parliamentary group will meet later in the year in Kiev along with the Assembly's Political Committee.
Mr Oleh ZARUBINSKIY (Ukraine), a member of the group since its creation, said that the role of the Joint Monitoring Group had evolved substantially. “While its original goal was to monitor the relationship between NATO and Ukraine and giving that relationship additional public and parliamentary transparency, the Group had moved well beyond monitoring and observation, and the relationship between the Assembly and the Ukrainian Rada is more pro-active.”
He reiterated the invitation by the Ukrainian Co-Chairman ZINCHENKO to hold one of the Assembly's Rose-Roth seminars during 2004 in Ukraine. The seminar would focus on civil-military relations and regional security issues. Mr Viggers said that "the Assembly's Rose-Roth seminars are one of the key methods for assisting nations’ parliaments to establish appropriate civil-military relations and for promoting regional parliamentary contacts."