29 Nov 2023 15:43

NATO offers recommendations to Ukraine on reforms to advance its accession - Stoltenberg

BRUSSELS. Nov 29 (Interfax) - All NATO countries agree that Ukraine should become a member of the alliance, and to this end, it needs to carry out reforms in line with recommendations prepared by the allies, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

"We have now provided recommendations on Ukraine's priority reforms, including the fight against corruption, strengthening the rule of law, and supporting human rights and minority rights," Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels following the first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council at the level of foreign ministers on Wednesday.

"Ukraine is closer to NATO than ever before," and the alliance will continue supporting it, he said.

Asked how Ukraine is supposed to carry out these reforms in the current situation, Stoltenberg replied, "I'm actually impressed by Ukraine's commitment to implement reforms, to modernize their society" amid the ongoing full-scale combat.

"We have seen that they have implemented changes in the legislation, they have made concrete changes not least in fight against terrorism. They are in the process of setting up and overhauling the system of defense procurement in close coordination with NATO. And they are also modernizing their intelligence services. These are a couple, or three, examples of how Ukraine is changing, adapting and stepping up all this in the fight against corruption," he said.

All of this should help Ukraine advance its accession to NATO, he said.

"One of the important topics that we addressed at a meeting today was how NATO allies could work even closer with Ukraine on these reforms and also how we could use the NATO-Ukraine Council to ensure the full implementation. We agreed the work program and substructure, under-committees, of the NATO-Ukraine Council to ensure that they follow up concretely on the reforms and the modernization of Ukrainian society," he said.