NATO declared Kiev one of the major contributors to the Alliance cause outside of the military bloc itself, adding Ukraine to the list of “Enhanced Opportunities Partners” – nations that were granted access to the NATO Partnership Interoperability Initiative (PII).
Launched in 2014, the program is aimed at “deepening connections built up between NATO and its partner forces.”
Under the PII, nations that “made significant contributions to NATO-led operations and missions” get access to political consultation with NATO members, interoperability programmes and exercises and information sharing. Ukraine made it to the list since it “provided troops to Allied operations, including in Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as to the NATO Response Force and NATO exercises,” NATO said in a statement.
Kiev becomes the sixth partner on the list that so far includes Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan and Sweden.