Oleksandr Turchynov: The Euro-Atlantic integration is Ukraine’s strategic goal
The Euro-Atlantic integration is Ukraine's strategic goal. This was stated by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov during the meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels.
During the talks, the parties discussed the issue of countering Russian aggression in the east of Ukraine and the hybrid threats faced by our country.
According to Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine, in comparison with 2014, today Ukraine has a qualitatively new army capable of defending the country. "Based on the challenges facing the state today, a significant part of the State budget funds are directed at the defense and security of Ukraine. Total spending on security and defense in 2017 has exceeded 5% of GDP", - he said adding that the situation is similar with the budget for 2018.
In addition, the interlocutors considered the issues of reforming the security and defense sector of Ukraine, the transition to NATO standards and the difficulties on this path.
Mr. Turchynov thanked Mr. Stoltenberg for the recent statement at the International Security Forum on November 17 in Halifax on that the NATO door is open to Ukraine and Georgia, noticing that Ukraine, to move towards the Alliance, "is now focused on reforms, on modernizing defense institutions, fighting corruption, and strengthening democratic institutions".
Mr. Turchynov stressed that a new significant stage of interaction between Ukraine and NATO can become our country's joining the Enhanced Opportunities Program. "According to the military experts from partner countries, - he added, - Ukraine meets all the criteria the prospective Program participant should meet".
Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine highly appraised the solidarity and unity of NATO member states in restoring Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Oleksandr Turchynov also stated that Ukraine was interested in holding a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the highest level during the NATO summit in Brussels in July 2018.
"Moreover, - the NSDC Secretary noted, - we are interested in developing practical cooperation with NATO countries, in particular, in military-technical cooperation, strengthening the defense and security of military arsenals in Ukraine, cybernetic defense, etc.".
In his turn, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that Ukraine is important for the security of Europe as a whole. "The Alliance member states are ready to further help your country on the way to its civilizational choice", - he emphasized.