BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:40 P.M.) – The Ukrainian Armed Forces are preparing to increase their contribution to the NATO alliance, as they plan to join Operation Sea Defender in the Mediterranean Sea.
According to the Unian Agency, the Ukrainian Armed Forces will take part in this operation, while also sending two military personnel to participate in the Anti-ISIS Coalition’s operations in Iraq.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran said this during a meeting with military attachés of NATO member states and representatives of the NATO office in Ukraine.
In particular, according to him, developing practical cooperation within the framework of the NATO Enhanced Opportunities Program (EOP), Ukraine seeks to increase its contribution to the Alliance’s activities and achieve the maximum level of compatibility.
“By joining NATO’s Enhanced Opportunities Program, we strive to broaden the horizons of our partnership with NATO, realizing that this is a two-way road: we get the best opportunities, but at the same time commitment to achieve common goals,” Taran said.
He recalled that Ukraine is the first country among the NATO partners to join the NATO Response Force (NRF). So, since 2010, units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been on duty in the NATO Response Force. According to him, Ukraine has already declared a special task force and one Il-76 transport aircraft in NRF-2021.
The Defense Minister 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.
In addition, next year, the Ukrainian Navy plans to join Operation Sea Defender in the Mediterranean with two Island-class patrol boats received from the United States as part of a security assistance package, and in 2023 to involve the flagship of the Ukrainian Navy in the operation frigate “Hetman Sagaidachny”.