KIEV, Ukraine, December 29, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Ukrainian corvette Ternopil has participated in NATO's Operation Active Endeavour for the fifth time. The Operation was launched for the first time by the Alliance after the 9/11 terrorist attack and aims to detect and deter terrorist activity in the Mediterranean Sea region. Ukraine was the first amongst non-member states to join the operation.
"The trip was of great importance for our country. Ukraine has once again demonstrated its due execution of its international obligations; that it is a country which sees to stability in the region of Mediterranean and Black Seas, and proves its eagerness to combat terrorism," stated rear-admiral Yuriy Illyin.
Ukraine's President Kuchma has set Ukraine's course towards conducting a sufficient dialogue with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The next Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, 2004-2009, nurtured the idea of Ukraine becoming NATO's member. However, this notion was not supported by most Ukrainians. Therefore, Ukraine kept its non-aligned status. In the recently enacted law on Domestic and Foreign Policy, signed by the President-in-office Viktor Yanukovych in 2010, Ukraine is to continue on having a constructive partnership with NATO.
The corvette's crew participated in surge operations, helping to monitor civilian shipping, collecting and analyzing information on suspicious vessels and accompanying ships carrying important cargo. It took part in 5 patrolling shifts in the different areas of the Mediterranean Sea.
Next year Ukraine will send its warship Lutsk to aid the Operation. In addition to Ukraine, Morocco and Israel offered physical assets for 2011.
Under the programme, NATO forces have hailed over 110000 merchant vessels and boarded 160 suspect ships. By conducting these maritime operations against terrorist activity, NATO's presence in these waters has benefited all shipping traveling through the Straits. The increased NATO presence has also boosted the Alliance's security cooperation programme with countries in the wider Mediterranean region - Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
NATO-Ukraine relations were formally launched in 1991, when Ukraine joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (now the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council). In 1994, it became the first of the Commonwealth of Independent States to join NATO's Partnership for Peace programme. The alliance now consists of 28 independent member countries and cooperates with a range of countries.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine