NATO – Topic: Relations with Ukraine

NATO – Topic: Relations with Ukraine

The security of Ukraine is of great importance to NATO and its member states. The Alliance fully supports Ukraine’s inherent right to self-defence, and its right to choose its own security arrangements. Ukraine’s future is in NATO. Relations between NATO and Ukraine date back to the early 1990s and have since developed into one of the most substantial of NATO’s partnerships. Since 2014, in the wake of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, cooperation has been intensified in critical areas. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022, NATO and Allies have provided unprecedented levels of support.

 

Evolution of NATO-Ukraine relations

  • Dialogue and cooperation started when newly independent Ukraine joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (1991) and the Partnership for Peace programme (1994).
  • Relations were strengthened with the signing of the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, and further enhanced in 2009 with the Declaration to Complement the Charter, which reaffirmed the decision by NATO Leaders at the 2008 Bucharest Summit that Ukraine will become a member of NATO.
  • The 1997 Charter established the NATO-Ukraine Commission as the main body responsible for developing the NATO-Ukraine relationship and for directing cooperative activities. In 2023, the Commission was replaced by the NATO-Ukraine Council, where Allies and Ukraine sit as equals. This change demonstrates the strengthening of political ties and Ukraine’s increasing integration with NATO.
  • Cooperation has deepened over time and is mutually beneficial. Ukraine has a long track record of active contributions to NATO-led operations and missions.

Political and practical support to Ukraine

  • NATO condemns Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. This aggression gravely undermines Euro-Atlantic and global security, and is a blatant violation of international law. NATO Allies, in concert with relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly, demand that Russia stop the war immediately, cease its use of force against Ukraine, and completely and unconditionally withdraw all its forces from Ukraine.
  • The Allies do not and will never recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexations, including of Crimea. Since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the beginning of its aggression in eastern Ukraine in 2014, NATO has reinforced its support for capability development and capacity-building in Ukraine, alongside Allied training of tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops.
  • Since the NATO Summit in Warsaw in July 2016, NATO’s practical support for Ukraine is set out in the Comprehensive Assistance Package (CAP) for Ukraine. At the 2022 Madrid Summit, Allies strengthened the CAP to provide even more support to Ukraine. At the 2023 Vilnius Summit, Allies agreed to further develop the CAP into a multi-year programme of assistance, to help rebuild the Ukrainian security and defence sector and transition Ukraine towards full interoperability with NATO.
  • NATO stands in unwavering solidarity with the government and people of Ukraine in the heroic defence of their nation, their land and our shared values. The Alliance fully supports Ukraine’s inherent right to self-defence as enshrined in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. 

Ukraine’s membership aspirations

  • In response to Ukraine’s aspirations for NATO membership, Allies agreed at the 2008 Bucharest Summit that Ukraine will become a member of NATO. They also agreed that Ukraine’s next step on its way to membership was the Membership Action Plan (MAP), NATO’s programme of political, economic, defence, resource, security and legal reforms for aspirant countries. In 2009, the Annual National Programme was introduced as Ukraine’s key instrument to advance its Euro-Atlantic integration and related reforms.
  • From 2010 to 2014, Ukraine pursued a non-alignment policy, which it terminated in response to Russia’s aggression. In June 2017, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted legislation reinstating membership in NATO as a strategic foreign and security policy objective. In 2019, a corresponding amendment to Ukraine’s Constitution entered into force.
  • In September 2020, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy approved Ukraine’s new National Security Strategy, which provides for the development of the distinctive partnership with NATO with the aim of membership in NATO. In September 2022, following Russia’s illegal attempted annexations of Ukrainian territory, Ukraine reiterated its request for NATO membership.
  • At the 2023 Vilnius Summit, Allies reaffirmed their commitment that Ukraine will become a member of NATO. Recognising Ukraine’s increased interoperability and substantial progress with reforms, they decided that Ukraine’s path to full Euro-Atlantic integration has moved beyond the need for the Membership Action Plan. Allies will continue to support and review Ukraine’s progress on interoperability as well as additional democratic and security sector reforms that are required on its path towards future membership. NATO Foreign Ministers will regularly assess progress through the adapted Annual National Programme. NATO will be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the Alliance when Allies agree and conditions are met.

 

 

Response to Russia’s war against Ukraine

NATO condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine, which gravely undermines Euro-Atlantic and global security and stability, and is a blatant violation of international law. NATO Allies, in concert with relevant resolutions of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, demand that Russia stop the war immediately, cease its use of force against Ukraine, and completely and unconditionally withdraw all its forces from Ukraine.

Furthermore, NATO Allies call on Russia to fully respect international humanitarian law, and to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and assistance to all persons in need. There can be no impunity for Russian war crimes and other atrocities, such as attacks against civilians and the destruction of civilian infrastructure, which deprives millions of Ukrainians of basic human services. All those responsible must be held accountable for violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, particularly against Ukraine’s civilian population, including the forced deportation of children and conflict-related sexual violence.

Russia’s war has also had a profound impact on the environment, nuclear safety, energy and food security, the global economy, and the welfare of billions of people around the world. Allies and Ukraine strongly condemn Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Black Sea grain deal and its deliberate attempts to stop Ukraine’s agricultural exports, on which hundreds of millions of people worldwide depend. Allies are working to revitalise the grain deal and to enable the continued exports of Ukrainian grain by land and sea, including in cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations.

Since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the beginning of its aggression in eastern Ukraine in 2014, NATO has adopted a firm position in full support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, extending to its territorial waters. The Allies strongly condemn and will not recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, and denounce its temporary occupation.

NATO Allies have equally condemned Russia’s continued aggression and destabilising activities in eastern Ukraine and the Black Sea region since 2014. NATO has increased its presence in the Black Sea and stepped up maritime cooperation with Ukraine and Georgia.

NATO also condemns Russia’s illegal attempt to annex four regions of Ukraine – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – in September 2022, which is the largest attempted land grab in Europe since the Second World War. The sham referenda in these regions were engineered in Moscow and imposed on Ukraine. They have no legitimacy, and NATO will not recognise them. These lands are Ukraine and will always be Ukraine. The overwhelming vote in the United Nations General Assembly condemning Russia’s attempted annexations sent a clear and strong message that Russia is isolated and that the world stands with Ukraine, in defence of the rules-based international order.

As a result of Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, NATO Allies decided in 2014 to suspend all practical civilian and military cooperation with Russia, while leaving political and military channels of communication open. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Allies have imposed severe sanctions on Russia to help starve the Kremlin’s war machine of resources. Allies continue to refine these sanctions in order to increase the pressure on Moscow. These efforts will make it harder for Russia to rebuild its tanks, manufacture missiles and finance its war.

Since 2014, regular consultations have taken place in the NATO-Ukraine Commission in view of the direct threats faced by Ukraine to its territorial integrity, political independence and security. The Commission met for extraordinary meetings following Russia’s aggression in Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014, after Russia’s unjustified use of military force against Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait in November 2018 and during Russia’s threatening military build-up in April 2021. Other extraordinary meetings of the Commission took place at NATO Headquarters in January and February 2022, focused on Russia’s military build-up and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Throughout the war, NATO and Ukraine continued to consult on the security situation and Allied support to Ukraine through the Commission. In July 2023, at the Vilnius Summit, the Commission was upgraded into the NATO-Ukraine Council, demonstrating the strengthening of political ties and Ukraine’s increasing integration with NATO. 

NATO stands in unwavering solidarity with the government and people of Ukraine in the heroic defence of their nation, their land and our shared values. The Alliance fully supports Ukraine’s inherent right to self-defence as enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. NATO Allies remain steadfast in their commitment to further stepping up political and practical support to Ukraine as it continues to defend its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. 

 

Practical support to Ukraine – the Comprehensive Assistance Package

In parallel to its political support, NATO has significantly stepped up its practical assistance to Ukraine. Immediately following the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, NATO Foreign Ministers agreed on measures to enhance Ukraine’s ability to provide for its own security. They also decided to further develop their practical support to Ukraine, based on a significant enhancement of existing cooperation programmes as well as the development of substantial new programmes.

At the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw, the Alliance’s measures in support of Ukraine became part of the Comprehensive Assistance Package (CAP), which is designed to support Ukraine’s ability to provide for its own security and to implement wide-ranging reforms based on NATO standards, Euro-Atlantic principles and best practices.

Under the CAP, NATO has helped Ukraine transform its security and defence sector for many years, providing strategic-level advice via the NATO Representation to Ukraine as well as NATO Headquarters, and practical support through a range of capacity-building programmes and initiatives. Through these programmes and tailored advice, NATO has significantly strengthened the capacity and resilience of Ukraine’s security and defence sector, as well as its ability to counter hybrid threats. NATO and Allies have also provided extensive support to capability development, including through training and education and the provision of equipment.

The Ukraine CAP Trust Fund

As part of the CAP, several Trust Funds were launched since 2014, providing resources to support capability development and sustainable capacity-building in key areas. In 2021, NATO consolidated and transitioned all pre-existing Trust Funds supporting Ukraine into a single Ukraine CAP Trust Fund. The Ukraine CAP Trust Fund enables resourcing for Ukraine-related activities within a single dedicated instrument, a flexible and scalable fund to provide Ukraine with short-term non-lethal military assistance (sustainment) as well as long-term capacity-building support. 

The Ukraine CAP Trust Fund supports areas such as:

  • Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4), which assists Ukraine in reorganising and modernising its C4 structures and capabilities;
     
  • Medical Rehabilitation, which seeks to support Ukraine in enhancing its medical rehabilitation system to ensure that long-term sustainable services are provided to patients, including active and discharged Ukrainian servicemen and women and civilian personnel from the defence and security sector; and a
     
  • Professional Development Programme, which helps develop the abilities of civilians working in Ukraine’s defence and security institutions.

Completed projects have also supported Ukraine in the areas of military career transition; explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and countering improvised explosive devices (C-IED); the destruction of small arms and light weapons (SALW), conventional ammunition, and anti-personnel landmines; ammunition stockpile safety management; safe radioactive waste disposal and land restoration; cyber defence; and logistics and standardization.

Strengthening the Comprehensive Assistance Package

At the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid, Allies agreed to strengthen the CAP and provide even more support to Ukraine. The strengthened CAP includes initiatives to provide Ukraine with immediate, short-term, non-lethal military assistance, as well as structures to boost NATO’s long-term support. Allies and partners have committed over EUR 690 million (around USD 740 million) to Ukraine CAP Trust Fund.

Non-lethal assistance based on Ukraine’s immediate needs

Under the Ukraine CAP Trust Fund, since February 2022, NATO has delivered projects providing support in multiple areas, including:

  • combat rations,
  • fuel materiel (including jet fuel),
  • army boots,
  • medical supplies (including first aid kits and pharmaceuticals),
  • winter clothing and army boots,
  • shelters and generators,
  • fuel transfer tanks,
  • heavy machinery,
  • military education and training equipment,
  • chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) detectors and protection,
  • explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) equipment
  • counter-drone equipment, and
  • enhanced satellite communication.

Additional projects are in various stages of development and delivery, including:

  • further support to Ukraine in the area of C4 (Command, Control, Communications and Computers),
  • demining,
  • amphibious bridge and ferry systems,
  • shelters and generators and power supplies,
  • load distribution plates,
  • mobile showers,
  • mobile laundry units,
  • food catering equipment,
  • medical supplies (including tourniquets, vent chest seals and bandages),
  • ambulances and fire trucks,
  • fuel trucks and transfer tanks,
  • water trucks,
  • lubricants,
  • tires,
  • truck batteries, and
  • winter clothing.

Longer-term support to Ukraine

At the 2023 Vilnius Summit, Allies agreed to further develop the CAP into a multi-year programme of assistance for Ukraine, based on sustained and predictable funding. Longer-term support is organised through three principal lines of effort: recovery and reconstruction, institutional transformation, and transition towards NATO interoperability. Specific objectives under these lines of effort include:

  • Ensuring that Ukraine continues to transition towards full interoperability with NATO, including its progress from Soviet-era to NATO standards, training and doctrines as it develops its capabilities;
  • Establishing the NATO-Ukraine Joint Analysis, Training and Education Centre (JATEC) in Bydgoszcz, Poland to identify and apply lessons learned from Russia’s war against Ukraine and contribute to increasing interoperability;
  • Rebuilding damaged military infrastructure (including three training sites);
  • Demining Ukrainian territory and strengthening Ukraine’s own demining capabilities;
  • Reforming Ukraine’s defence procurement system to bring it in line with NATO best practices and promote greater effectiveness, accountability and transparency;
  • Rehabilitating injured personnel from the defence and security forces and reintegrating them back into service or civilian life.

This last objective involves multiple projects organised under the Human Centric Framework (HCF) programme, a key component of the CAP. The HCF covers areas such as medical and psychological rehabilitation, human resource management within defence forces, veterans’ reintegration, and Women, Peace and Security (WPS) as a cross-cutting issue within the defence and security sector. HCF projects include the creation of a Medical Information System across Ukraine’s military healthcare facilities, medical training for specific therapy methods like eye movement and desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR), the establishment of a Medical Rehabilitation Centre of Excellence, and support for Ukraine’s participation in the Invictus Games.

Increase of the NATO civil budget to support Ukraine

At the 2022 Madrid Summit, Allied Leaders agreed as part of the NATO 2030 agenda to boost training and capacity-building, and to increase the NATO common funding ceilings year-on-year in real terms. These increases started in 2023, and will provide a predictable source of Allied funding to achieve results in these vital areas. NATO 2030 sets the ambition to substantially strengthen NATO’s ability to deliver training and capacity-building support to partners.

Since January 2023, almost EUR 20 million has been dedicated to cooperative security initiatives to further support selected partner countries, including Ukraine. This additional funding source has enabled projects to be developed and implemented in the areas of psychological resilience and rehabilitation, defence planning, institutional development, cyber defence and training.

Allied bilateral support to Ukraine

In parallel to NATO’s provision of non-lethal assistance through the CAP, Allies have significantly stepped up their bilateral support and provision of weapons, equipment and training, helping Ukraine to uphold its right to self-defence, which is enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Allies are also providing substantial financial and humanitarian aid, including by hosting millions of refugees in countries all across the Alliance.

 

The NATO Representation to Ukraine

The NATO Representation to Ukraine, established in September 2015 to oversee two already existing offices, supports cooperation on the ground. It consists of the NATO Information and Documentation Centre (NIDC) and the NATO Liaison Office (NLO). 

NATO Information and Documentation Centre (NIDC)

The NIDC was inaugurated in Kyiv in 1997 to support efforts to inform the Ukrainian public about NATO’s activities and the benefits of NATO-Ukraine cooperation. The NIDC is part of the NATO Public Diplomacy Division and was the first information office established by NATO in a partner country and open to the general public. The Centre has three key pillars of work:

  • increasing awareness and understanding of NATO in Ukraine;
  • informing the Ukrainian public about key activities in NATO-Ukraine cooperation; and
  • providing advice and support to Ukrainian institutions in the area of strategic communications capability development.

In order to facilitate NATO’s core mission and activities in Ukraine, the NIDC supports various public diplomacy and communications projects, including round tables, seminars, conferences and multimedia projects.

NATO Liaison Office (NLO)

The NLO was established in Kyiv in 1999 and plays a key role in facilitating NATO-Ukraine cooperation. Its main priorities include:

  • maintaining contact with Ukrainian ministries and agencies;
  • advising Ukrainian authorities on activities in support of the NATO-Ukraine partnership and reforms, in particular the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Interior; the National Security and Defence Council; the Security Service of Ukraine; the Parliament; and non-governmental organisations;
  • enhancing NATO-Ukraine political and practical dialogue; and supporting contacts between NATO and Ukrainian civil and military authorities and advisers.

The NATO Representation to Ukraine leads on the provision of strategic-level advice under NATO’s Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine.

 

Evolution of NATO-Ukraine relations

NATO-Ukraine relations were formally launched in 1991, when the newly independent country joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), a forum for dialogue and cooperation between NATO Allies and their former Warsaw Pact adversaries. A few years later, in 1994, Ukraine joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP), a programme of practical bilateral cooperation between individual partner countries and NATO. It was one of the founding members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), which replaced the NACC in May 1997.

The July 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership remains the basic foundation underpinning NATO-Ukraine relations. The Charter established the NATO-Ukraine Commission as the main body responsible for advancing NATO-Ukraine relations. The Commission directed cooperative activities and provided a forum for consultation between the Allies and Ukraine on security issues of common concern.

The Declaration to Complement the Charter, signed in 2009 as a follow-up to the decisions taken at the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest, gave the Commission a central role in deepening political dialogue and cooperation to underpin Ukraine’s reform efforts pertaining to its Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. The principal tool to support this process is the Annual National Programme (ANP), which reflects Ukraine’s national reform objectives and annual implementation plans. The ANP has been composed of five chapters focusing on: political and economic issues; defence and military issues; resources; security issues; and legal issues. This includes reforms related to good governance, the fight against corruption, the rule of law, human rights, and the security and defence sector, in accordance with Euro-Atlantic principles and standards. 

Allies assess progress under the ANP annually. The responsibility for its implementation falls primarily on Ukraine. The Commission for Coordination of Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, ensures the general coordination of its implementation by the state bodies. 

In 2023, the NATO-Ukraine Council was established as the successor to the NATO-Ukraine Commission. The change from Commission to Council demonstrates the strengthening of political ties and Ukraine’s increasing integration with NATO. In the Council format, Ukraine sits alongside all NATO member states as an equal participant. The Council can be convened by the Secretary General as well as by its individual participants, including Ukraine, for crisis consultations. The inaugural meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council took place on 12 July 2023 at the Vilnius Summit.

 

Wider cooperation

Since 2014, in the wake of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, NATO-Ukraine cooperation has been intensified in critical areas. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine starting in February 2022, NATO and Allies have provided unprecedented levels of support to Ukraine.

But NATO’s support to Ukraine and activities in partnership with the country did not begin in 2014 or 2022 – practical cooperation between NATO and Ukraine has been ongoing since the 1990s. Over the years, Ukraine’s cooperation with NATO has been mutually beneficial and has covered a wide range of activities – from building Ukraine’s capabilities and interoperability with NATO forces, to promoting reforms in Ukraine’s defence and related security sector, to supporting non-military activities like collaborative scientific research and public diplomacy.

Further to the Ukraine CAP Trust Fund projects described above, NATO’s cooperation with Ukraine has been implemented through the following programmes and initiatives:

Ukraine has also provided support for NATO-led operations and missions, enhancing the interoperability of Ukrainian troops with NATO armed forces.

NATO-Ukraine Platform on Countering Hybrid Warfare

Against the background of the initial stages of Russia’s war against Ukraine – not just the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, but also the use of cyber attacks, disinformation and other hybrid activities over the subsequent years – the NATO-Ukraine Platform on Countering Hybrid Warfare was established at the NATO Summit in Warsaw in July 2016. It provides a mechanism to be better able to identify hybrid threats and to build capacity in identifying vulnerabilities and strengthening resilience of the state and society. Projects in support of research, training and expert consultations are ongoing, with a focus on lessons learned, countering disinformation and enhancing resilience.

Resilience Advisory Support Team (RAST)

Since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of eastern Ukraine in 2014, experts have provided advice on Ukraine’s contingency plans and crisis management measures to defend critical energy infrastructure and protect the civilian population. Today, cooperation focuses on improving national capacity for civil preparedness and resilience. In 2019, a Resilience Advisory Support Team (RAST) drew up recommendations to Ukrainian institutions with regard to the enhancement of national resilience. At Ukraine’s request, follow-up expert-level RAST consultations providing technical advice to support the country’s long-term resilience and civil preparedness activities took place in early 2022, prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion. Ukraine also participates regularly in activities organised by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre and has itself hosted multiple disaster response exercises.

Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process

Participation in the Planning and Review Process has helped Ukraine set and achieve ambitious yet realistic objectives for defence and security reforms, transformation and capability development; for improving the ability of its forces to operate alongside Allied and partner forces in crisis response and peace-support operations; and for enhancing Ukraine’s ability to host Allied and partner forces for exercises and training.

Building Integrity (BI) process

Since 2007, Ukraine has participated in NATO’s Building Integrity (BI) Initiative, which provides practical assistance and advice for strengthening integrity, accountability and transparency in the defence and security sector. In October 2019, nine institutions of Ukraine’s defence and security sector completed the NATO BI Self-Assessment and Peer Review Process, which provided a thorough assessment of institutional needs and vulnerabilities and offered a set of policy-level sectoral recommendations to improve good governance and pursue sustainable anti-corruption reforms in the defence and related security sectors. On this basis, a tailored programme of activities continues to provide two levels of capacity-building support – specific expertise to the institutions to enhance the good governance and management of defence resources (financial, human and materiel), and education and training activities to develop individual capacities and foster an organisational culture of integrity.

Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP)

Since 2013, the Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP) has helped to improve and restructure Ukraine’s military education and professional training systems, focusing on eight defence higher education institutions and five training centres for Non-Commissioned Officers. Additionally, DEEP advises on management of the academies and universities, supporting faculty on how to teach and assisting in the development of courses on leadership and decision-making processes. The focus of the DEEP programme for officers is on: curriculum and faculty development; instructor training; English language training; occupational specialties development; lessons learned system development; e-learning systems; and increasing institutional capacities. The focus of the DEEP programme for NCOs is on instructor training, firearms instructor training and combat squad leader training.

Air Situation Data Exchange programme

Ukraine joined the Air Situation Data Exchange programme in July 2006. It enhances awareness and aviation safety through the mutual sharing of air situation data, which improves the operational effectiveness of air defence through the identification, classification and potential de-confliction of aircraft. This capability has had particular operational relevance and benefit following Russia’s further invasion of Ukrainian territory since February 2022. NATO has been working closely with Ukraine to provide the most relevant information possible.

Military Committee with Ukraine Work Plan

Participation in a wide range of military activities and exercises under the Military Committee with Ukraine Work Plan focuses on improving the interoperability and operational capabilities of Ukraine’s armed forces, but also substantially contributes to ongoing security and defence reforms.

NATO Operational Capabilities Concept Evaluation and Feedback Programme

Ukraine’s active participation in the NATO Operational Capabilities Concept Evaluation and Feedback Programme supports the further development of the armed forces, while also enabling the Alliance to put together tailored force packages that can be deployed in support of NATO-led operations and missions.

Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme

Ukraine has been actively engaged in NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme since 1991. A Joint Working Group on Scientific and Environmental Cooperation contributes to identifying priority areas for practical scientific cooperation in the framework of the SPS Programme. Since 2014, in response to the crisis in Ukraine, cooperation in the field of security-related civil science and technology has been strengthened, and Ukraine has since become the largest beneficiary of the SPS Programme. Leading areas of cooperation with Ukraine in the SPS framework include advanced technology, counter-terrorism, defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents, as well as energy and environmental security. Among these activities, noteworthy is the participation of Ukraine in the DEXTER Programme, which is developing an integrated system to detect explosives and firearms in public spaces.

Other initiatives

In addition to the programmes listed above, Ukraine has participated in many other initiatives organised through the advisory mission of the NATO Representation in Ukraine.

  • NATO supports Ukraine in implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
  • A legal framework has been established to enable NATO and Ukraine to further develop operational cooperation, including the Partnership for Peace (PfP) Status of Forces Agreement (entered into force in May 2000); the Host Nation Support Agreement (ratified in March 2004); and the Strategic Airlift Agreement (ratified in October 2006).
  • In June 2020, Ukraine became an Enhanced Opportunity Partner (EOP). This is a status offered to participants in NATO’s Partnership Interoperability Initiative that have made particularly significant contributions to NATO operations and other Alliance objectives. EOP status works as a facilitator, providing Ukraine preferential access to NATO’s interoperability toolbox, including exercises, training, exchange of information and situational awareness. The other EOPs are Australia, Georgia and Jordan.
  • Ukraine has also built capacity and interoperability through participation in the NATO Response Force.

Support for NATO-led operations and missions

Ukraine has contributed to the peace-support operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has also contributed to the Kosovo Force (KFOR), including with a heavy engineering unit with counter-improvised explosive devices capabilities.

In support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, Ukraine allowed over-flight clearance and the transit of supplies, and contributed medical personnel to support Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan and instructors to the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. Following the end of ISAF’s mission in 2014, Ukraine supported the follow-on Resolute Support Mission (2015-2021) to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces.

From March 2005, Ukraine contributed officers to the NATO Training Mission in Iraq, which terminated in December 2011.

Ukraine deployed ships six times between 2007 and 2010 in support of Operation Active Endeavour, a counter-terrorist maritime surveillance operation in the Mediterranean Sea. In 2013, it also contributed to NATO’s counter-piracy operation Ocean Shield. Since the launch of maritime operation Sea Guardian in 2016, Ukraine has provided information in support of NATO’s maritime situational awareness in and around the Black Sea.