On 18 May, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna met at NATO Headquarters with Bettina Cadenbach, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy. The meeting took place during Olha Stefanishyna's working visit to Brussels, which includes a series of bilateral and multilateral summits with the leadership of the European institutions and NATO Headquarters.
The main topic of the meeting was Ukraine's expectations from the forthcoming summit of NATO member states, scheduled for June 14, 2021, and the renewal of the Alliance's strategy.
"The forthcoming NATO summit will be crucial for NATO's policy over the next 10 years. We expect that the Ukrainian issue and our country's security concerns will be reflected properly in the Alliance's final documents presented at the summit. It is very important for us that the preparation of the Membership Action Plan for Ukraine finally gets its formalized start. In the context of the constant threat of new waves of aggression from the Russian Federation, such a move by the Alliance would be a clear indication that the entire Western democratic world remains committed to values on NATO's south-eastern flank. For its part, Ukraine is united as never before, both politically and socially, in supporting NATO accession," said the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.
Bettina Cadenbach assured the Ukrainian side that the Open Door Policy remains a priority for NATO.
Olha Stefanishyna informed about the strategic steps taken by the authorities aimed to implement the state policy of Euro-Atlantic integration and reminded of the critical importance of security in the Black Sea for the security and stability of the entire Euro-Atlantic area: "Ukraine is striving and can become a strategic pertner of NATO in the Black Sea. We have made great efforts to ensure that the Alliance and its individual member countries prioritize security in the Black Sea in their policies. We are talking about strengthening the Ukrainian Navy, and joint monitoring of the security situation in the Black Sea, the exchange of reconnaissance information, as well as strengthening cybersecurity.
During the meeting, special attention was paid to the issues of realizing Ukraine's potential within the framework of NATO's Enhanced Opportunities Partner, in particular, expanding Ukraine's participation in NATO-led missions and operations.
The parties also discussed the resumption of meetings of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the top level and Ukraine's progress in implementing the Annual National Program under the auspices of the NATO-Ukraine Commission. The participants noted the high dynamics of the dialogue between Ukrainian institutions and NATO structures.
The Declaration of the North Atlantic Council in Bucharest on 3 April 2008 stated that "NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO. MAP is the next step for Ukraine and Georgia on their direct way to membership. Today we make clear that we support these countries’ applications for MAP. Therefore we will now begin a period of intensive engagement with both at a high political level to address the questions still outstanding pertaining to their MAP applications. Foreign Ministers have the authority to decide on the MAP applications of Ukraine and Georgia."