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U.S., Ukraine Sign Annual Plan of Cooperation

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

BRUSSELS, Belgium, Dec. 6, 2000 – The United States and Ukraine signed an agreement Dec. 5 to further military cooperation between the two countries.

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Defense Secretary William S. Cohen and Ukrainian Defense Minister Gen. Oleksandr Kuzmuk sign the annual plan between the two countries that deals with eight areas of mutual cooperation. Cohen and Kuzmuk met Dec. 5 following the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium. Photo by Master Sgt. Kevin Cahill, USAF.

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Defense Secretary William S. Cohen and Ukrainian Minister of Defense Gen. Oleksandr Kuzmuk signed the agreement during the NATO Defense Ministerial here. The plan details how the defense and military establishments will work together.

The signing continues a plan that started in 1993. Kuzmuk said through a translator that the Ukrainian military values the plan: “This is a witness of our evolution … of the progress of our cooperation. It enables us to make a report on the Ukrainian armed forces and bring the Ukrainian armed forces closer to the (United States) and Europe.”

Cohen said the plan covers eight areas of cooperation. It promotes interoperability between the two militaries. The United States will continue to help Ukraine build a professional military. An important part of this is helping the Ukraine develop a professional NCO corps.

The plan stresses civil-military affairs, defense restructuring and resourcing, and military technical goals. “These engagement activities and U.S. assistance will specifically meet Ukrainian goals set out in its Defense Reform and Restructuring Plan of 2005,” Cohen said after signing the agreement.

Cohen said the hallmark of the agreement is the Cooperative Threat Reduction program. Through the program, the United States works with Ukraine to eliminate weapon systems covered by the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and its infrastructure for weapons of mass destruction.

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