Remarks at the Signing Ceremony for the NATO-Ukraine Charter in Madrid
Secretary General, fellow leaders, ladies and gentlemen: From the four quarters of our alliance, we have come to Madrid to build a new Europe, where old divides are bridged by new ties of friendship and cooperation, where we recognize no spheres of influence but instead the influence of shared ideals.
Today we take another step toward that new Europe with the signing of this charter between a new NATO and a democratic Ukraine. From the moment we declared this goal last fall, all have worked hard toward this day. I thank President Kuchma for his vision and courage in leading his great nation down the path of reform. I also thank Secretary General Solana for his efforts on behalf of our alliance.
This charter launches a closer relationship between NATO and Ukraine that will benefit both. It lays a foundation for consultation and cooperation. It welcomes Ukraine as our partner in building an undivided Europe.
Over the last 2 months, Ukraine's bold steps have made this continent more stable and more secure through its treaty of friendship and cooperation with Russia, its border agreement with Romania, its declaration of reconciliation with Poland. Now an open dialog and joint activities with NATO will help Ukraine solidify reform and strengthen stability throughout Europe.
This charter reflects and reinforces the way this continent has changed. Ukraine has emerged from a century of struggle to pursue the highest standards of dignity and freedom. It is tackling tough economic reform. It has been a leader in reducing the nuclear danger. It has embarked on a course of peaceful integration with the community of democracies. NATO also has evolved to meet these new times with new missions, new members, a stronger Partnership For Peace, and now new partners, with Russia and, of course, today with Ukraine.
Today, Europe's security is not a matter of competition but of cooperation on behalf of common goals. It is natural for Ukraine to reach out to NATO and for NATO to do the same, helping to secure Ukraine firmly in the heart of a new, undivided, democratic Europe.
May the charter we sign today be just the opening page in a long history of unity, partnership, and peace that NATO and Ukraine will write together.
NOTE: The President spoke at 9:35 a.m. at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos. In his remarks, he referred to NATO Secretary General Javier Solana and President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine. The transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary also included the remarks of President of the Government Jose Maria Aznar of Spain, Secretary General Solana, and President Kuchma.
William J. Clinton, Remarks at the Signing Ceremony for the NATO-Ukraine Charter in Madrid Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/224539