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KIEV, September 03. /ITAR-TASS/. All joint exercises with NATO in Ukraine will be held as scheduled, Ukrainian permanent representative to the alliance Igor Dolgov said on Wednesday.
“By developing our possibilities for interaction with NATO member-states, we will be enhancing the combat capability of our Armed Forces and their ability to act together with their partners,” Dolgov told the Ukrinform news agency.
He reaffirmed Ukraine’s plans to participate in NATO-led operations and develop cooperation with the military in Poland and Lithuania and create a joint brigade with them. “This will be a brigade capable of interacting with the armed forces of the NATO countries and fully compatible with them,” Dolgov said.
Joint military exercises with NATO
One of the first decisions adopted by the new Ukrainian authorities was to increase the number of joint military exercises with NATO from three in 2013 to eight in 2014. All exercises with Russia and other CIS countries were cancelled.
The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) allowed foreign troops to enter Ukraine for joint military exercises in 2014 with Poland, the United States, Moldova, Romania and other countries.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said during his visit to Kiev in August that Ukraine might take part in the alliance’s maneuvres in the short term.
The Ukrainian government approved the annual national cooperation program with NATO for 2014 ahead of the alliance’s summit in Wales on September 4-5.
According to the document, NATO has worked out additional mechanisms for intensifying cooperation with Ukraine in all areas and will increase funding for practically all current cooperation programs.
NATO summit in Wales
President Petro Poroshenko will lead the Ukrainian delegation to the NATO summit. He will present his views on how to restore security in Europe and Ukraine’s role and position in the security system, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevgen Perebeynis said.
Ukraine is also expecting the start of practical cooperation on consultative and material-technical assistance from NATO to enhance the country’s defense capability, he said.
Ukraine will be the only partner country to attend a 28+1 top-level meeting at the summit.
New defense doctrine
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk suggested adopting a new defense doctrine. “Ukraine needs a new defense doctrine that would clearly state who the aggressor is and where the threat comes from. A new doctrine must name Russia as the only threat and aggressor that is threatening (Ukraine’s) territorial integrity,” he said.
In late August, a bill abolishing Ukraine’s non-bloc status was registered in the national parliament. The bill also resumes the process of accession to NATO.
The bill amends the laws on the basic principles of Ukraine’s domestic and foreign policy and on the basic principles of Ukraine’s national security and creates a legislative framework for the country’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic security space and for protecting territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The bill also forbids Ukraine to join any alliances other than the European Union.