France to help Ukraine get NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner status – ambassador

France to help Ukraine get NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner status – ambassador

France is ready to support the adoption of a positive decision on Ukraine's obtaining the NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner status.

This issue was discussed at a meeting between Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran and French Ambassador to Ukraine Etienne de Poncins, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

"The ambassador of the French Republic stated unequivocal support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the readiness to take diplomatic measures to resolve the security situation in Ukraine, including within the Normandy format, and to provide military and political support for the adoption of a positive decision to grant Ukraine the status of a NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner," the report reads.

Taran, in turn, noted that "Ukraine highly appreciates the support of the French Republic and seeks to develop cooperation in the defense sphere in order to develop bilateral relations between the states." "It is important to maintain a strategic dialogue between our states. Continuing constructive bilateral relations with the French Republic at the strategic level will strengthen the counteraction to current and potential threats on the European continent and in general," he said.

The French ambassador noted the progress of defense reform, which is being successfully implemented in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Particular attention was paid to the development of military and technical cooperation, taking into account the results of a meeting of the joint Ukrainian-French interstate commission in the field of armaments and military hardware.

Taran said he was convinced that "already today there are a number of promising areas for cooperation both in the context of the implementation of defense reform tasks in Ukraine and in mutually beneficial military and technical cooperation."

Emphasizing the importance of the military and political dialogue at the strategic level, the parties reaffirmed their interest in organizing a visit of the French armed forces minister to Ukraine in 2020 and holding an extended videoconference at the level of deputy defense ministers in July.

Photo credit: Ukrainian Defense Ministry

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