Brussels, Friday 31 January – The Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council (UNIC), once again, strongly condemned Russia’s ongoing efforts to destabilise Ukraine during exchanges with NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana and other senior officials at NATO Headquarters on Tuesday 28 January.
At his first official meeting as Acting President of the NATO PA, Attila Mesterhazy (Hungary) stressed the importance of a strong partnership with Ukraine and of the continuing support the Assembly provides.
At the first UNIC meeting of 2020, NATO PA members voiced their firm support for Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity, and firmly condemned Russia’s illegal and illegitimate occupation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine.
Parliamentarians from NATO countries and Ukraine provided their assessments of developments since the December 2019 Paris Summit in the Normandy Format, which remains the best way to find a diplomatic solution. Participants cautioned that progress can easily be reversed and that much remains to be done.
They engaged in extensive discussions on the daily ceasefire violations in Eastern Ukraine, progress on disengagement on the frontlines, recent prisoner exchanges, and human rights violations committed in the occupied territories.
The UNIC meeting offered a valuable opportunity to take stock of NATO-Ukraine relations and the progress in implementing the Comprehensive Assistance Package.
The comprehensive reform processes in Ukraine, including in the defence and security sector, also took centre stage in the exchanges between lawmakers. These reforms are key to achieving Ukraine’s objectives of European and Euro Atlantic integration.
Fifteen parliamentarians from NATO countries and 11 members of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine took part in the UNIC meeting, chaired by Acting NATO PA President Mesterhazy and Ruslan Stefanchuk, Co-chair of UNIC and First Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
During the meeting, Ojars Eriks Kalnins (Latvia) was elected as the new NATO PA Co-chair of UNIC.
The NATO PA and UNIC will continue to support Ukraine on its path of reform. The Assembly will visibly demonstrate its commitment and cooperation when it holds its 2020 Spring Session in Kyiv, on 22 to 25 May 2020.
UNIC was created in 1998 to bring greater transparency to the implementation of the NATO–Ukraine Charter and to demonstrate parliamentary interest and involvement in cooperation between NATO and Ukraine. It has since become a wider forum where members can discuss any issues of mutual concern. UNIC meets twice a year: once in Brussels at NATO HQ and once in Ukraine. Its meetings are also open to the members of the Political Committee’s Sub-Committee on NATO Partnerships.
Photos of this visit are public and can be found on the NATO PA Flickr account.