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Ukraine's foreign policy

The principal provisions on the Ukrainian foreign policy are legalized by both the Constitution of Ukraine and Laws in force. The Verkhovna Rada has adopted a resolution, The Basic Directions of Ukraine's Foreign Policy, which is a basic documents outlining priorities for the Ukrainian state in its activities in the international arena, and the law of Ukraine, On Ukraine’s International Agreements.

Ukraine takes active part in all the processes taking place in both Europe and the world. Ukraine’s major task is to revive its European identity that means in the first place the priority of its integration into European structures, in particular, the European Union, in strengthening of European and Atlantic partnership, and active participation in regional initiatives and mechanisms of cooperation.

Ukraine’s full-scale participation in European integration processes make it necessary for it to gain membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is also bound up with gaining broader access to world markets and improving people’s lives. Ukrainian commodity producers have much to offer to the world market.

Ukraine’s Europe-oriented foreign policy does not restrict development of bilateral collaboration. Of great importance is the cooperation with Ukraine's strategic partners: the USA, Russian Federation, Poland, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan. Ukraine will continue to develop equal and mutually beneficial bilateral relations with neighboring and other states, in particular, with those of the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and the Asian-Pacific region on the basis of partnership and openness.

Ukraine’s Integration into European Structures

The resolution, Basic Directions of Ukraine's Foreign Policy, clearly makes Ukraine's membership in the European communities a priority goal of its foreign policy.

Today, the basis for bilateral relations between Ukraine and the European Union is laid in the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation and the Joint EU Ukrainian Strategy, in which the EU recognizes Ukraine's Europe oriented aspirations and welcomes its European choice. The joint strategy provides a powerful impulse of political support for Ukraine, favors faster internal transformations within Ukraine and is an important tool which, alongside the partnership and other agreements, strengthens the strategic partnership between Ukraine and the EU.

In turn, Ukraine has adopted internal conceptual documents aimed at safeguarding its European choice. Among them is the Strategy of Ukraine's Integration into EU, which outlines the major priorities for activities of the Ukrainian executive branch bodies until the year 2007. The Program of Ukraine’s EU Integration is a practical guide formulating specific assignments for the Ukrainian ministries and departments so that the Strategy is implemented.

Economic cooperation is an important component in the relations between Ukraine and EU. Nowadays, Ukraine has signed a Cooperation Declaration with the countries, which are members of the European Free Trade Association, opening to Ukraine access to the European economic space.

Ukraine and its Significance in Maintaining Stability and Security on the European Continent

Ukraine takes into account its European priority in constructing its security policy. Ukraine is a participant in the process of erecting a new architecture for the European security and actively supports the position that the emergence of new division of Europe, be it iron or paper, cannot be permitted.

Ukraine is taking active part in peacemaking efforts, especially in settling stalemated conflicts. Being involved in regulating peace in the Balkans (Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo), functioning as an intermediary in settling the situation in Transnistria (Moldova), or playing a positive role in settling the conflict in Abkhazia (Georgia), Ukraine is demonstrating that it can be a real contributor to security in Europe. In this context, our nation's collaboration with UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, NATO, and within GUUAM (Georgia-Ukraine-Uzbekistan-Azerbaijan-Moldova) is of great importance.

Ukraine and the UN

Ukraine was among the UN’s founders and has contributed much to giving birth to this world international organization. As a UN member, Ukraine has elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council three times (1948-1949, 1984-1985, 2000-2001) and a member of the UN Economic and Social Council four times (most recently in 1993-1995). Ukraine's representatives have been repeatedly elected to executive positions in the major committees of the General Assembly sessions, particularly, to chair the UN General Assembly at the 52nd session in 1997.

Today, Ukraine is active in reforming the UN. Our state stands for making the Security Council's methods more transparent and has advanced and supports an increased UN Security Council staff by introducing more permanent and non-permanent members while focusing on the adequate representation of the East European regional group within the UN.

Confirming its peace-loving policy by definite actions, Ukraine decided to send peacemaking contingents as part of the UN missions to Lebanon and Congo.

Ukraine and OSCE

Ukraine is taking an active part in discussing and settling all urgent issues of international security, and cooperation within the OSCE region, in particular, in developing an architecture of general European security and the strengthening stability, following a need to enhance the role and effectiveness of the OSCE in safeguarding security within the region in terms of political, military, human, economic, ecological, and other spheres, and to enhance OSCE's preventive and peacemaking potential.

Today's cooperation of Ukraine with the OSCE is an example to be followed by other countries. It is this cooperation in supporting the rights of national minorities in terms of OSCE's efforts in Ukraine that became the organization’s first success in implementing its mission’s goals and completely carrying out its mandate.

Ukraine and the Council of Europe

Ukraine’s participation in the Council of Europe is evidence of its steadfast adherence to its European choice and to the commonly recognized principles of pluralistic democracy, the rule of law, and commitment to basic human rights and liberties. As an organic part of the European cultural originality, Ukraine promotes its development on its side. Ukraine is taking active part in helping the Council of Europe address social problems, in particular, in support of the rights of national minorities, combating xenophobia and racial intolerance, environmental protection, the maintenance of biological ethics, as well as controlling AIDS and drug abuse.

Ukraine is a participant of a series of conventions by the Council of Europe, in particular, the European Cultural Convention, European Framework Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation among territorial communities or authorities, European Convention on Information about Foreign Legislation, six crime control conventions, and Framework Convention on Protecting National Minorities.

Ukraine and NATO

Collaboration with NATO, which has already been underway for six years, is based on Ukraine’s national interests and is determined by the role the alliance plays in maintaining international peace, stability, security, bettering the overall climate of confidence in the European-Atlantic region, and establishing a new regional security system in Europe. This cooperation was legalized by the Charter of Special Partnership signed in 1997 and the Individual Partnership Program within the Partnership for Peace Program.

Ukraine is closely involved in a great many actions taken in combination with NATO member and partner countries to address political, military, technical, scientific, economical, ecological, and civil emergency issues.

Today Ukraine actively cooperates with NATO within the 19+1 format to further develop mutual relations, improve mutual understanding and compatibility, implement joint efforts and collaboration for stronger peace and stability in Europe, increase trust, and assert European democratic and legal standards to the benefit of the new united European commonwealth.

Ukraine's Participation in Regional Cooperation

An important component in Ukrainian foreign policy is arranging regional forms of cooperation. The purposeful putting forward of Ukrainian interests within the efforts of regional groupings makes possible step-by-step movement toward European integration and helps draw Ukraine into broad participation in the political and economical processes which take place in East Central and Southeast Europe.

Ukrainian diplomacy ensures sound and effective participation in regional instruments of cooperation, especially within the frameworks of the Central-European Initiative, Black Sea Organization for Economic Cooperation, and Council of Baltic Sea States. Participation in these associations should promote the development of multilateral interactions with the member states and positively influence the advance of Ukraine along the road of market reforms.

A promising form of regional cooperation stems from the consultative forum of five states -- Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova (GUUAM) -- which was created as a result of the active development of the multilateral cooperation among these countries. The harmony of their positions in most issues of international cooperation and a strategy for further development makes possible a productive coordination of efforts intended to attain stated goals by combined action.

Ukraine actively participates in implementing the Pact on Stability in Southeast Europe, thus favoring the post-conflict rehabilitation of the countries, which suffered from the Kosovo crisis.

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