General Pavel: over the last 4 years Ukraine has come close to being part of NATO

Ukraine has managed to significantly approach NATO member status over the last four years, as stated by Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Petr Pavel to DW.

Responding to the question on what main problems Ukrainian Armed Forces face now, he said that he could not comment on internal decisions of partners but "Ukraine has already carried out impressive defense reforms and approached NATO more; but there is still work to do.”

Ukraine’s stability is one of the main objectives of these reforms. "NATO and individual NATO-member countries will continue to support Ukraine because we strongly believe that an independent and stable Ukraine committed to democracy and the rule of law is a key to Euro-Atlantic security,” Pavel stated.

Responding to the question of DW on whether Ukraine’s goal for its army to achieve compatibility with Alliance forces before 2020 is realistic, Pavel responded that Ukraine’s armed forces are making it more realistic by participating in Alliance exercises and missions such as those in Afghanistan.

The North Atlantic Alliance has significantly strengthened its assistance to Ukraine’s reforms in the last four years. In 2017, NATO implemented more than 200 activities to support Ukraine’s armed forces, Pavel said.

He specified that the most significant and tangible improvements have been made in the areas of training soldiers, military medicine, logistics, and the development of Ukraine’s naval forces, special operation forces and assault forces. NATO has created ten trust funds for Ukraine over nearly four years. According to Pavel, the countries of the Alliance have already committed to provide 40 million euro through these funds.

As reported earlier, President Petro Poroshenko stated that Ukraine will join NATO within the next 10 years.

  NATO membership, Ukraine