21:11 16.11.2009

NATO Secretary General says Annual National Program is important step on Ukraine's path to membership in Alliance

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that the development of the first Annual National Program is an important step on Ukraine's path to becoming a member of the Alliance.

The Secretary General said this in his opening remarks at the High-Level NATO-Ukraine Consultations in Brussels on Monday, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's press service reported.

According to Rasmussen, to reflect the spirit of deepening cooperation, Ukraine has developed its first Annual National Program which outlines the steps it intends to take to accelerate internal reform and alignment with Euro-Atlantic standards.

"That is important. And it is important not because NATO thinks so, but because it will help Ukraine to modernise, to the benefit of the Ukrainian people. And we are committed to support and assist Ukraine in that journey," the secretary general said.

Ukraine's Acting Defense Minister Valeriy Ivaschenko, in turn, said that the time following the historical decision passed at the NATO Summit in Bucharest, when NATO agreed that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance, was efficiently used by Ukraine to continue implementing the comprehensive and practicable plans of reforming Ukraine's armed forces.

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