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UkrPolBat

Starting from Sep 1, 1999 Ukraine participates in KFOR (Kosovo Force), which is the most considerable area of NATO-Ukraine cooperation in terms of duration and number of personnel engaged. Currently UPC in KFOR comprises 1-st peacekeeping battalion, which is a national part to Ukrainian-Polish Battalion (UKRPOLBAT), and a national support element (181 military servicemen). UKRPOLBAT is subordinate to Multinational Task Force "East" (comprises troops form USA (lead nation), Armenia, Greece, Lithuania, Poland and Romania).

The agreement to replace the Ukrainian and Polish peacekeeping battalions in Kosovo with one joint Ukrainian-Polish battalion in July 2000 was reached during march 2000 negotiations between the Defense Ministers Oleksandr Kuzmuk of Ukraine and Janusz Onyszkewicz of Poland. Addressing a press conference following the talks, the Polish Defense Minister said all questions had been resolved "without any divergence of opinions" and agreements were made on the training of both headquarters and all military formations of the joint battalion. It consisted of 260 Ukrainian soldiers, or two companies, and 530 Polish soldiers which makes up two companies of the Polish Military Forces. The battalion was headed by a Polish officer with an Ukrainian officer as deputy.

Kuzmuk said "finally the battalion will stop existing only in virtual reality" and begin to function. He said Ukraine and Poland will finance the peacekeeping mission separately. According to Kuzmuk, even if Parliament does not ratify the decree for the battalion formation, the military command of Ukraine sees no obstacles. After Ukraine's participation in the Peacekeeping mission, which was ratified by Parliament, Ukraine has the right to send such a formation to Kosovo, he said.

Peacekeepers of Ukrainian-Polish battalion UkrPolBat belonging to KFOR in Kosovo carryied out tasks aimed at securing peace and stability in municipality of Strpce. Particularly, jointly with UN and local police units, UkrPolBat kept public order during mass rallies. Due to tolerant attitude towards the rally participants from the police and Ukrainian peacekeepers, preventive and explanatory work conducted by UkrPolBat's command with the local residents, the rallies are conducted in an organized manner, without violation of public order.

In December 2008 the village of Perevalne of Sympheropol region in Crimea the preparation of a new rotation of peace-keeping Ukrainian-Polish battalion UkrPolBat to leave for Kosovo commenced. During three days the commission led by head of operative maintenance department of the Centre of Coastguard Troops of the Naval Forces of Ukraine Lieutenant Colonel Mykola Serhiyechko will check a Ukrainian component of the rotation. The Commission is to test readiness of the contingent to fulfilling of tasks in the composition of the East multinational subdivision, its material and technical basis, to evaluate the state of humanitarian and social maintenance, the level of patriotic training of the personnel, the state of military discipline of peace-keepers.



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