Ukraine's application to join NATO’s CCDCOE to be considered this fall

Ukraine's application to join NATO’s CCDCOE to be considered this fall

The accession to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence will provide Ukraine access to leading research and development projects and help counter cyber threats, including from Russia. NATO will consider the country’s membership application and announce the decision this fall.

That’s according to Natalia Tkachuk, chief of the Information Security Office at the National Security and Defense Council, as reported by Ukrinform.

“Membership in the organization will provide Ukraine with the opportunity to exchange experience in detecting and countering modern cyber threats, developing skills in joint response to cyber attacks and conducting defense and deterrence operations in cyberspace. Ukraine will have access to the latest research and development conducted by CCDCOE. All this will allow more effective countering Russia’s hybrid threats. CCDCOE membership will be yet another important step toward Ukraine's accession to NATO," Tkachuk told Ukrinform in response to a question about the benefits of CCDCOE membership.

Read also: Question of whether Ukraine can join NATO already resolved on principle – British Ambassador

The response to the journalist's inquiry says CCDCOE has been operating as NATO's cyber defense center since 2008. The main areas of cooperation and interaction of participants include technology, operations in cyberspace, development of cybersecurity strategies, and legislation. CCDCOE organizes annual large-scale cyber exercises, including Locked Shields, aimed at practicing cyber defense efforts, and Crossed Swords, aiming to work out active cyber operations, as well as a large number of professional training sessions on cyber defense and cyber security.

Asked how complex and lengthy the accession process could be, Tkachuk said joining the organization requires a concerted decision by all members, which is almost 30 countries, most of which are NATO Allies. The decision to add new members is made after it is considered at the CCDCOE Steering Committee meeting, and must be unanimous.

“The next meeting of the Committee, which will consider Ukraine's application, is scheduled for November this year. After successful consideration of the application, the applicant for admission shall take a number of practical steps related to choosing the range of activities within the organization, training and sending the relevant professionals, etc. It usually takes about six months from the application filing to the start of active work,” Tkachuk said, adding that the outcome of consideration will be announced after a meeting of the CCDCOE Steering Committee in the autumn of this year, after which a meeting is scheduled with the organization’s representatives.

Read also: SBU blocks 65 cyber attacks on government agencies in July

At the same time, the National Cyber ​​Security Coordination Center has set up working cooperation with CCDCOE to ensure the preparatory phase of Ukraine's application. Now the parties are able to cooperate at the level of specialists, including in the preparation of cyber exercises, development of cyber ranges, and other issues.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, on August 3, a delegation of the National Cyber ​​Security Coordination Center at the National Security and Defense Council held a series of bilateral meetings during a working visit to Estonia to build up cooperation between Ukraine and Estonia in the field of cybersecurity.

The Ukrainian side has applied to join CCDCOE.


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