NATO boosts support for Ukraine and Ukraine to boost defense spending to 5% of GDP and adopt full NATO standards by 2020

NATO Defence Ministers agreed on 15 June 2016 to boost NATO’s support for Ukraine with a Comprehensive Package of Assistance. The Package aims to help Ukraine strengthen its defences by building stronger security structures. In a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, Allied ministers also exchanged views with Ukrainian Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak on the current security situation in eastern Ukraine, and the progress of government reforms.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained that the Comprehensive Package brings together all the strands of NATO’s support, and will “help Ukraine establish more effective and efficient defence and security structures, and to strengthen civilian control over them.” He highlighted that the Alliance is already implementing projects under the Trust Funds established for Ukraine, including on command and control, cyber defence, and rehabilitating wounded soldiers. “We are also developing new projects, including in the areas of countering hybrid warfare and explosive devices,” he said.

“The Strategic Defense Bulletin is a road map of the defense reform based on NATO principles,” the Ukrainian presidential administration said, introducing the bulletin.

The document provides for the active participation in the implementation of the Common Security and Defense Policy of the European Union and active cooperation with NATO in the achievement of criteria necessary for the full membership in NATO.

Overlapping functions of the General Staff and the Defense Ministry will be eliminated until 2018. “In accordance with NATO standards, duplicate functions of the Defense Ministry and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be scrapped by 2018, there will be the clear-cut division of powers and responsibilities between them. This will ensure separation of the functions of forming national security policy in the military and defense spheres and force development from the functions of its implementation,” the document said.

In keeping with the bulletin, Ukraine should allocate at least 5% of GDP for the security and defense sector every year.

The provisions of the National Security Strategy of Ukraine and the Military Doctrine of Ukraine provide that Ukraine should annually spend at least 5% of expected GDP on the financing of the security and defense sector with at least 3% on defense alone,” the document said.

Ukraine’s army will reach full NATO standards by 2020.