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Ukraine granted NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner status

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NATO allies have granted Ukraine Enhanced Opportunities Partner (EOP) status.

It is part of the Alliance’s Partnership Interoperability Initiative. It seeks to maintain and increase cooperation between allies and partners who have contributed significantly to missions and operations led by NATO.

The Ministry of Defence said Ukraine can benefit from increased opportunities to sustain such contributions, with greater access to interoperability programmes and exercises, and more information shared.

The UK has personnel deployed on Operation Orbital – a training mission to Ukraine, set up in 2015, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea the previous year.

In that time, UK personnel have trained more than 18,000 members of the Ukraine Armed Forces.

The operation has been extended to March 2023.

The Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “It is excellent news that Ukraine has been granted NATO Enhanced Opportunity Partner status.

“The UK already has a close relationship with Ukraine, where our soldiers have trained over 18,000 personnel, but we now look forward to deepening that cooperation on NATO exercises and operations.

“We will all benefit from closer association and increased interoperability - NATO is fortunate to have such a partner.”

Cover image: Library picture of military training in Ukraine (Picture: MOD).