Ukraine meets criteria for joining NATO's Enhanced Opportunity Partnership
Ukrainian Minister of Defence Andriy Zahorodniuk says that Kiev meets the criteria for joining NATO’s Enhanced Opportunity Partnership (EOP) and calls on the Alliance to consider the country’s application for participation in the program.
Zahorodniuk also stressed that Kiev’s accession to the EOP program could enhance European security deepening security cooperation and partnership in the region.
“Our NATO partners know that joining NATO’s Enhanced Opportunity Partnership program is an absolute priority for Ukraine. Ukraine has made significant progress in implementing the Alliance’s standards and is already meeting the military criteria for joining the program,” the ministry’s press service quoted Zahorodniuk as saying. “We are ready [to join], and now there is a wonderful window of opportunity.”
Zahorodniuk also said that Ukraine could help NATO on field such as intelligence sharing, and ensuring security in the Black Sea.
Ukraine asked NATO to grant it the status of a participant in the Enhanced Opportunity Partnership program in January 2020.
It’s important to say that the EOP program does not substitute a Membership Action Plan (MAP), which Ukraine seeks to obtain.
What is NATO’s Enhanced Opportunity Partnership?
The EOP status means different implications for every partecypanting country as a general framework for implementation has not been yet implemented. The programme aims to ensure that the connections built up between NATO and partner forces over years of operations can be maintained and deepened. In this way, partners can efficiently contribute to potential crisis management, including NATO-led operations and, potentially, to the NATO Response Force.
At the 2014 NATO Summit the Allies identified five countries as eligible for the EOP for dialogue and cooperation: Finland, Australia, Georgia, Jordan, and Sweden.