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1 February, 1999
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Minister For Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Meets with a Diplomatic Corps
On January 22, 1999, Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk met with heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Ukraine. In his address the Minister drew attention of the foreign diplomats to a symbolic 80th anniversary of Ukraine’s unity and integrity. He reminded that in 1919, for the first time after ages of misfortune, Ukraine’s lands and territories became united. Since that time on Ukraine has been a member of the international community and "its free voice has never faded away from the international choir".
Borys Tarasyuk described 1998 as a complicated and eventful year in the international life. In this context, he gave a short summary of Ukraine’s achievements during last year. The Minister in particular noted that the world’s perception of Ukraine as a connate part of Central and Eastern Europe strengthened in 1998. That year, the EU Summit decided to develop a comprehensive strategy of the European Union toward Ukraine. It was also a year when the first stage of ratification of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and Russia took place.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine outlined three major constituent parts of Ukraine’s foreign policy in 1999. They will include development of bilateral relations, policy toward European and Euro-Atlantic integration, and multilateral diplomacy.
In the area of bilateral cooperation, the Minister stated that Ukraine would continue to develop relations with its neighbors, strategic partners and influential world powers.
On integration to European and Euro-Atlantic institutions, the Foreign Minister stressed that in 1999 Ukraine would seek to achieve the following goals:
- to become politically and institutionally closer to the EU and proceed in an evolutionary way toward its ultimate goal -- integration into the EU;
- to accommodate Ukrainian legislation to the standards of the EU and the Council of Europe, this step being a key element in the policy toward integration;
- to deepen relations between Ukraine and NATO, which is an influential factor in the comprehensive system of European peace and security. In this regard, Ukraine hopes that the Washington Summit will provide a new impetus to Ukraine-NATO cooperation.
In terms of Ukraine’s policy in the domain of multilateral diplomacy, the Minister informed about Ukraine’s intention to reinforce its role at the United Nations by becoming a non-permanent member of the Security Council. He expressed hope that this aspiration would be supported by the United Nations State Members.
Borys Tarasyuk also assured that Ukraine would devote special attention to the activities in such regional organizations and forums as the OSCE, the Black Sea Organization for Economic Cooperation, the Central European Initiative, GUAM, and the CIS. The process of reforming of the latter should be complete in the course of this year.
He also stated that Ukraine would remain actively involved in peaceful settlement of conflicts, peacekeeping operations, as well as in development of trust building measures, international security regimes and international control mechanisms.