19 February 2005, A NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) Trust Fund project has been established to help Ukraine destroy stockpiles of surplus munitions, small arms and light weapons, and Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS). The project – the largest single demilitarisation effort in the world - is a practical demonstration of NATO’s continuing commitment to support Ukraine’s defence reform.
The Trust Fund project responds to Ukraine’s request for assistance in eliminating 133,000 tonnes of munitions and 1,5 million small arms and light weapons. Much of this material is stored in the open, posing a major security threat to local civilian population and infrastructure. Safe destruction of these stocks also eliminates potential proliferation risk.
The Trust Fund project will be executed in four phases, over 12 years. The voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund, estimated to be in excess of EUR 25 million will be used to purchase new equipment and improve Ukraine’s demilitarisation capabilities. Ukraine will contribute in-kind to the demilitarisation costs.
The United States has agreed to act as Lead Nation for the first phase of the project. The initial phase is estimated to cost EUR 7 million over three years. This is the first time the US has taken on the role of lead nation of a NATO/PfP Trust Fund project. In addition to the US , the United Kingdom and Norway have pledged funding for this project.
The PfP Trust Fund policy was established in September 2000, five projects have been completed to date. This is the second PfP Trust Fund project to be executed in Ukraine. The first project in 2002-2003 destroyed 400,000 Anti-personnel landmines (APLs). In total, Trust Fund projects have destroyed more than 2 million APLs in Albania, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine.