NATO has today recognised Ukraine the sixth Enhanced Opportunities Partner alongside Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan and Sweden.
NATO News Release, 12 June 2020: On Friday (12 June 2020), the North Atlantic Council recognised Ukraine as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner. This status is part of NATO’s Partnership Interoperability Initiative, which aims to maintain and deepen cooperation between Allies and partners that have made significant contributions to NATO-led operations and missions.
As a NATO partner, Ukraine has provided troops to Allied operations, including in Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as to the NATO Response Force and NATO exercises. Allies highly value these significant contributions, which demonstrate Ukraine’s commitment to Euro-Atlantic security.
As an Enhanced Opportunities Partner, Ukraine will benefit from tailor-made opportunities to help sustain such contributions. This includes enhanced access to interoperability programmes and exercises, and more sharing of information, including lessons learned.
“This decision recognises Ukraine’s strong contributions to NATO missions, and demonstrates the Alliance’s continued commitment to its partnerships despite the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu.
Ukraine is now one of six Enhanced Opportunities Partners, alongside Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan and Sweden. Each of the partners has a tailor-made relationship with NATO, based on areas of mutual interest. Ukraine’s status as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner does not prejudge any decisions on NATO membership. NATO Allies continue to encourage and support Ukraine in its reform efforts, including in the security and defence sector, with regard to civilian control and democratic oversight, and in the fight against corruption.
UK MoD News Release, 12 June 2020: Ukraine has been granted Enhanced Operating Partner (EOP) status by NATO Allies on Friday 12 June 2020, a decision supported by the UK and welcomed by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.
The status is part of NATO’s Partnership Interoperability Initiative, which aims to maintain and deepen cooperation between Allies and partners that have made significant contributions to NATO-led operations and missions. The decision means that Ukraine will benefit from increased opportunities to help sustain such contributions, such as enhanced access to interoperability programmes and exercises, and more sharing of information, including lessons learned.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “It is excellent news that Ukraine has been granted NATO Enhanced Opportunity Partner status.
“The UK already has a close relationship with Ukraine, where our soldiers have trained over 18,000 personnel, but we now look forward to deepening that cooperation on NATO exercises and operations. We will all benefit from closer association and increased interoperability – NATO is fortunate to have such a partner.”
The UK currently has personnel deployed on Operation ORBITAL, which is the UK’s training mission to Ukraine, established in 2015 following the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia a year earlier. It is a demonstration of the UK’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. Since 2015, UK personnel have trained over 18,000 members of the Ukraine Armed Forces, making a real difference and saving lives. It was extended by three years to March 2023 by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace in November 2019.