Today at NATO headquarters in Belgium, U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen and Ukrainian Minister of Defense Olexander Kuzmuk signed an annual Plan of Cooperation between the United States Department of Defense and the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. Building on the first plan, signed in 1993, this bilateral plan sets out defense and military cooperation activities between the two countries for 2001.
In 2001, cooperation between the defense ministries is designed to meet mutually agreed upon goals in eight main focus areas, including interoperability, force professionalization, civil-military affairs, defense structuring and resourcing, and military technical cooperation.
Engagement activities and U.S. assistance will specifically meet Ukrainian goals set out in its Defense Reform and Restructuring Plan through 2005. The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, the hallmark program of our engagement since 1993, will continue with activities to assist Ukraine with eliminating weapon systems covered by START as well as the infrastructure for weapons of mass destruction.