NATO Allied Land Command’s commander, Lieutenant General Roger Cloutier, held key engagements with several Ukrainian military and government leaders to build on a partnership initiative that began in 2018.
At the time, then commander U.S. Army Lieutenant General J.T. Thomson, signed a letter with Ukrainian Land Forces that established the framework for future cooperation.
NATO say that during the recent visit, Lieutenant General Cloutier, met with Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander for Ukraine’s Land Forces and his staff at his Kyiv headquarters.
The Alliance add that Lieutenant General Cloutier’s purpose was to gain an understanding of Ukraine’s Land Forces and deepen the cooperative relationship LANDCOM has with Ukraine as a strategic land forces partner.
“I find the fact I’m concluding this land domain fact-finding mission here in the Land Forces Headquarters of a nation that is a critical partner to our NATO mission of deterrence and defense incredibly appropriate. This visit to Kyiv is the final part on a multi-nation tour to see NATO’s land forces and their leadership. I find the fact I’m concluding this land domain fact-finding mission here in the Land Forces Headquarters of a nation that is a critical partner to our NATO mission of deterrence and defense incredibly appropriate.”
“LANDCOM plays a leading role in the standardization of NATO land forces as well as partner land forces like Ukraine who participate in the Operations Capabilities Concept (OCC) program. In 2019, LANDCOM sent an OCC evaluation team to Ukraine for Exercise Rapid Trident 2019 to evaluate a Ukrainian Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) unit, an Engineer Company and a Military police platoon. LANDCOM also sent a team to Ukraine to conduct training on logistics planning that year, and in 2020 formed a collaborative relationship with the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s Strategic Communication Directorate.”
Colonel General Syrskiy pointed out the significance of LANDCOM’s visit.
“The visit of the NATO Land Forces Commander indicates that NATO military and political leadership and Alliance countries governments see us as the strategic and future partner,” suggesting his country aims to become a full member of “the world’s most powerful collective security system” one day.
“It also clearly confirms consistency of NATO’s approach to support Ukraine in reforming the national security and defense sector,” he added.
In June 2020, Ukraine was designated an Enhanced Opportunity Partner, joining Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan and Sweden as nations who make particularly significant contributions to NATO operations and other Alliance objectives.
“As a NATO partner, Ukraine has provided troops to Allied operations, including in Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as to the NATO Response Force and NATO exercises. Allies highly value these significant contributions, which demonstrate Ukraine’s commitment to Euro-Atlantic security. As an Enhanced Opportunities Partner, Ukraine will benefit from tailor-made opportunities to help sustain such contributions. This includes enhanced access to interoperability programmes and exercises, and more sharing of information, including lessons learned.
During his visit in Kyiv, Lieutenant General Cloutier also met with Ukraine’s Chief of the Armed Forces, Colonel General Ruslan Khomchak; Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Anatolii Petrenko; and Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna. During his meeting with Deputy Defence Minister Petrenko, Lieutenant General Cloutier highlighted the unique experience of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in counteracting hybrid threats and expressed interest in a detailed study of the issue. He said had invited Colonel General Syrski and representatives of Ukraine’s Land Forces to take part in future conferences and help other NATO land domain commanders understand the threat.”
For her part, Deputy Prime Minister Stefanishyna underpinned the very reasons behind LANDCOM’s purposes for pursuing the cooperative partnership.
“First and foremost, we focus on modernising our security and defense sector in line with the Alliance’s standards and practices,” she said.
“I am convinced that the security of NATO and the security of Ukraine are interdependent, and this is the basis for the prosperity not only of Europe, but also of the entire transatlantic region.”