First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Emine Dzheppar met with NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Security Policy James Appathurai on Wednesday at the NATO headquarters in Brussels.
The parties discussed several issues including the support of Ukraine’s reforms on its way towards Euro-Atlantic integration, engagement with Ukraine in its new status as Enhanced Opportunities Partner, countering the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea and the preparation for the Crimean Platform Summit.
During the meeting, First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine emphasised that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Ukraine managed to take additional measures to support the reform process.
"Transition to NATO standards, norms and principles are also among our priorities. We have made significant progress in various areas of Euro-Atlantic reforms, including the adoption of important legislation and guidelines in the field of security and defence. In particular, the laws of Ukraine 'On Defense Procurement' and 'On Intelligence', as well as the National Security Strategy of Ukraine," Emine Dzheppar said.
She noted that on January 28, 2021, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the first reading of the draft Law on Amendments to the Law of Ukraine 'On the Security Service of Ukraine' aimed at improving the organisational and legal framework of the Security Service.
The diplomat emphasised that the recognition of Ukraine as Enhanced Opportunities Partner was an important stage in the implementation of Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations. She thanked the Allies for the decision.
Ms Dzheppar also pointed out that Ukraine’s involvement in the Allies’ discussion of the areas of formulation of the NATO Strategic Concept 2030 will facilitate the Alliance’s cooperation with its Eastern partners, in particular, the cooperation with the Ukrainian State within the framework of NATO Open Door Policy.
"Ukraine stands for equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines. I am also grateful for NATO's decision to purchase medical equipment for Ukraine through the NATO Pandemic Response Trust Fund," she stressed.
The First Deputy Foreign Minister also brought the attention of her colleague to the deterioration of the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea and informed him of the latest actions of the Russian occupation authorities in violation of human rights, the militarization of the peninsula, privatization of Ukrainian state-owned assets in violation of international humanitarian law.
Emine Dzheppar acquainted James Appathurai of the work on the launch of the Crimean Platform and expressed hope that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg participates in the Inaugural Summit of the Crimean Platform scheduled to held in August 2021.
The Crimean Platform is a new consultative and coordination format initiated by Ukraine to improve the international response to the occupation of Crimea and growing security challenges.
The Platform aims to increase international pressure on Russia, prevent further human rights violations, protect victims of the occupation regime, and achieve the goal of de-occupation of Crimea and its return to Ukraine.
The Crimean Platform will operate at several levels: The first is the highest political level, which will be joined by foreign heads of state and government. The second is the level of heads of foreign policy departments and defence ministers; the third is the inter-parliamentary level; the fourth is the level of non-governmental experts.
The activities of the Crimean Platform will be officially launched at the inaugural summit which is planned to be held in Kyiv in August 23, 2021.