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UKRAINIAN MOD AND GENERAL STAFF DELEGATION VISITS SHAPE
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office
MONS, Belgium: A delegation from the MoD of Ukraine and General Staff met with Deputy Chief of Staff Military Partnerships, Major General Haluk Cumali Çetinkaya, and other Staff Representatives at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) on Tuesday, 29 October 2013. Members of the delegation were briefed on ACO current structure and functions, as well on the NATO Force Generation process. Both briefings were followed by a question and answer session, where issues of mutual interest between NATO and Ukraine were discussed.
The recent Ukrainian commitment to participate in the Alliance’s counter–piracy mission, Operation Ocean Shield, is a recent example of NATO–Ukraine relations. The Ukrainian Navy frigate HETMAN SAGAIYDACHNIY joined Operation Ocean Shield on 10 October 2013, marking the first time a partner nation has contributed to NATO’s counter–piracy effort, which has been operating off the Horn of Africa, since 2009.
Ukraine also contributes to the NATO Response Force (NRF) and is participating in Exercise Steadfast Jazz in November, which is designed to train and certify the NRF.
“For many years UKR contributes to Euro-Atlantic security with respect to both NATO led operations and the NATO Response Forces. We are grateful for continued Ukrainian efforts to work together with NATO in the traditional areas of cooperation of defence reform, interoperability and operations, as well as emerging areas of cooperation”, said General Çetinkaya. “Your visit to SHAPE highlights once again the strength and depth of the NATO-Ukraine relationship” he said. As well General Çetinkaya expressed his gratitude for Ukraine efforts to maintain a permanent UKR Partner Liaison Team and two Partnership Staff Element officers presence in MPD, as it is a key element ensuring a smooth NATO – Ukraine Military Cooperation on a daily bases.
Currently, Ukraine is the only partner nation contributing to all NATO-led operations and the NRF. The Allies and Ukraine discuss issues of mutual interest within the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which provides a forum for consultation between the Allies and Ukraine on security issues of common concern, such as Afghanistan, the Balkans, the fight against terrorism, frozen conflicts and other regional security issues.
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