The North Atlantic Council recognized on June 12 Ukraine as Enhanced Opportunities Partner, part of NATO’s Partnership Interoperability Initiative, to ensure Ukraine can maintain and deepen cooperation with NATO Allies and Partners.
This status is part of NATO’s Partnership Interoperability Initiative, which aims to maintain and deepen cooperation between Allies and partners that have made significant contributions to NATO-led operations and missions.
As an Enhanced Opportunities Partner, Ukraine will benefit from tailor-made opportunities to help sustain such contributions. This includes enhanced access to interoperability programmes and exercises, and more sharing of information, including lessons learned.
“This decision recognises Ukraine’s strong contributions to NATO missions, and demonstrates the Alliance’s continued commitment to its partnerships despite the COVID-19 pandemic.”NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu said
Ukraine is now one of six Enhanced Opportunities Partners, alongside Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan and Sweden. Each of the partners has a tailor-made relationship with NATO, based on areas of mutual interest.
Ukraine’s status as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner does not prejudge any decisions on NATO membership. NATO Allies continue to encourage and support Ukraine in its reform efforts, including in the security and defence sector, with regard to civilian control and democratic oversight, and in the fight against corruption.
US Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) applauded NATO’s decision.
“I am pleased to see that the North Atlantic Council has accepted Ukraine as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner,” Portman said.. Ukraine’s status as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner is a recognition of the tremendous sacrifices made by the brave men and women of the Ukrainian armed forces in support of NATO operations and the dedication of the Ukrainian government to continue to make serious structural military reforms. I strongly support Ukraine’s NATO integration and eventual full partnership and I will continue to advocate on their behalf. ”