Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council: Kornienko talks defense reforms

Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council: Kornienko talks defense reforms

Ukraine's parliament and government are pursuing a series of national security and defense reforms to advance NATO standards, while officials representing the Allies have expressed support for the aspirations of most Ukrainians to join NATO.

That’s according to First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Oleksandr Kornienko, who spoke at a briefing in Odesa following Tuesday’s meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council (UNIC), attended by delegates from the Alliance member states and partner countries, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"The parliament and government of Ukraine are pursuing a series of reforms in the field of national security and defense to ensure progress towards NATO standards. It is about strengthening the logistical support of the Armed Forces, including the use of comprehensive assistance provided by Allies, the sharing information on defense issues, and involving NATO advisers to successfully bring the Army to higher standards," said Kornienko.

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According to the deputy parliament speaker, in order to advance to NATO, the Verkhovna Rada is also increasing defense spending, which next year will reach about 6% of the total budget. Moreover, if necessary, amendments will be passed to further increase it, as was the case in the last two years.

"We will continue to inform the public about the steps taken by parliament and government to this end, and we are grateful to the participants in the Interparliamentary Council meeting for supporting the will of Ukrainians to join NATO," Kornienko said.

The head of the Ukrainian delegation to the NATO PA, Yehor Chernev, said that during the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council in Odesa and during the latest NATO session it was noted that the Allies are clearly aware of security issues in the Black Sea region. This was fixed in the Lisbon Resolution: NATO-Russia relations are now at their lowest point since the Cold War. At the same time, NATO is guided by two approaches to Russia: the Allies are open to dialogue and ready to confront hybrid threats coming from Russia.

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According to Chernev, such approaches will be confirmed at NATO’s spring session and reflected in the NATO 2030 concept.

NATO Vice President Attila Mesterházy reaffirmed commitment of the UNIC participants to support Ukraine's sovereignty, adding they will advise their governments to comprehensively strengthen security in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea region, as well as respond to human rights abuses in the occupied areas, and further enhance cooperation between the Allies and Ukraine.


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