The Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready to increase national contributions to NATO-led operations and be involved in planning the Alliance's crisis management operations in the early stages, Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran said at a briefing for ambassadors, military attaches and representatives of the NATO office in Ukraine.
Ukraine develops practical cooperation within the framework of the NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partnership (EOP), seeks to increase its contribution to NATO activities and achieve the maximum level of interoperability.
"By joining the NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partnership, we strive to expand the horizons of our partnership with NATO, realizing that this is a 'two-way street': we must have the best capabilities, but at the same time commitment to achieve common goals," Taran said.
He said that Ukraine was the first among NATO partner countries to join the NATO Response Force (NRF), and since 2010, units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been on duty in the NATO Response Force. Ukraine has already declared a special task force and one IL-76 transport aircraft in NRF-2021.
The Defense Minister also assured that even in the conditions of Russian aggression, Ukraine is and will be a reliable partner of the Alliance, which takes part in NATO-led operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the defense department is taking measures to send two representatives of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to the NATO mission in Iraq in 2021.
Next year, the Ukrainian Navy also plans to join Operation Sea Guard in the Mediterranean with two Island-class patrol boats and in 2023 to involve the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate in the operation, the message said.