The first meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) for the Audit of Ukraine's Standardization Management System took place at the NATO Liaison Office on Thursday, 5 May 2016.
Relations between Ukraine and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) started in 1994. Ukraine applied to join the NATO Membership Action Plan in 2008. Plans for NATO membership were shelved by Ukraine following the 2010 presidential election in which Viktor Yanukovych, who preferred to keep the country non-aligned, was elected President.
The meeting was chaired by senior adviser on logistics and standardization reform Mr. Miroslav Pelikan and administrative support was provided by Ms. Christina Martsynkovska, NSPA Office in Kyiv.
NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine shared on Facebook:
'Twenty Ukrainian participants took part in the meeting including personnel from Ministry of Defence / General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ministry of Economic Development, Security Service of Ukraine, State Border Guard Service, State Concern UKROBORONPROM and other defence and security institutions.
The aim of the JWG is to assess the current Standardization Management System in the defence and security sectors of Ukraine and develop recommendations to improve its establishment and organization as well as its efficiency and effectiveness and to align it with appropriate similar systems in place in NATO Nations.
Development and implementation of a national standardization system that is compatible with the NATO standardization system is necessary. The use of logistics requires standardized materiel, assets, practices, procedures, techniques and a common language. The national system will ensure proper interoperability between the defence and security sector components and it will enhance the ability of Ukraine forces to train, exercise and operate effectively together in the execution of assigned missions and tasks.'
Yanukovych fled Ukraine amid the Euromaidan uprising in February 2014. As a result of this revolution, the interim Yatsenyuk Government came to power in Ukraine. The Yatsenyuk Government initially stated it did not have the intention of making Ukraine a member of NATO.
NATO officials vowed support for Ukraine and worked to downplay tensions between the bloc and Russia, which refused to recognize the impeachment of Yanukovych or the Yatsenyuk Government.
In March 2016, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker stated that it would take at least 20-25 years for Ukraine to join the EU and NATO.