On the one hand, we are partners in the common struggle against many threats and challenges, such as terrorism and piracy on the high seas. Ukraine, for instance, will be the first partner to join NATO's counterpiracy operation, Ocean Shield, where Ukrainian servicemen will work side-by-side with NATO Allies to safeguard the free passage of goods and to make sure merchant communities feel safe at sea.
Working together as partners, Ukraine has been able to improve the capabilities of its armed forces. Equally, through working together, NATO and the Armed Forces of Ukraine have achieved a high level of interoperability and integration, allowing Ukraine to make a contribution to international security using multilateral platforms like NATO, and not only NATO, but the EU and the United Nations as well.
On the other hand, no less important in our partnership are fundamental values such as democratic standards and the rule of law enshrined in the NATO-Ukraine Charter on a Distinctive Partnership of 1997. Despite serious concerns expressed by Allies at the Chicago Summit about the state of democracy and the rule of law in Ukraine, Ukraine does have at its disposal a powerful instrument to address these areas, namely the Annual National Programme (ANP). The ANP, which is drawn up and implemented by Ukraine, offers Ukraine a comprehensive blueprint for reform and modernization, and helps Ukraine to reach the highest possible standards in all areas of government and society, including democratic principles and values.
With Ukraine completing three cycles of the ANP and now implementing the fourth, we trust that Ukraine will remain committed to the reform process and the underlying values guiding the NATO-Ukraine partnership.
Natalia Nemyliwska, Director of the NATO Information and Documentation Centre (NIDC) in Ukraine