Law of Ukraine

"On Ratification of the Agreement (in Form of Exchange of Notes) between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Ukraine's Participation in the Operation "Ocean Shield"

Date of entry into force:
October 6, 2013

The Agreement between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Ukraine's Participation in the Operation "Ocean Shield" was signed in form of exchange of notes.

The Constitution of Ukraine (Article 85, paragraph 32) states that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine provides consent for Ukraine to be bound by international agreements. And, according to Article 9 of the Law of Ukraine "On International Agreements of Ukraine", the Agreement is subject to ratification.

The Law ratifies the Agreement.

Ukraine shall deploy its national contingent to support the operation "Ocean Shield", which is aimed at helping to deter, disrupt, defend and protect people from pirate attacks and armed assaults at sea by carrying out naval operations near the Horn of Africa and demonstrating commitment in the campaign against piracy. It also includes involving the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This operation complies with the principles of the UN Charter and goals set by the UN Security Council Resolutions 1816, 1836, 1846, 1851, 1897 and 2020, which call all states for cooperation, particularly within bilateral and multilateral arrangements and agreements, to prevent and stop acts of piracy (Clause 1 of the Agreement).

According to Clause 2 of the Agreement, Ukraine shall agree to the following:
  • Ukraine shall deploy the frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy, carrying a KA-27 helicopter and a special operations group, to take part in the operation for a term of 90 days, at the beginning stage in the second half of 2013, by agreement of the North Atlantic Council. Ukraine reserves the right to determine the strength and type of forces and equipment it plans to contribute to the operation "Ocean Shield", and to change its forces and equipment. Before being involved in the operation "Ocean Shield", the Ukrainian ship and personnel must be certified by NATO;
  • during participation of its forces in the operation, Ukraine shall collaborate with the NATO headquarters of the operation "Ocean Shield" (NORTHWOOD) via the Command Headquarters of the Ukrainian Naval Forces (SEVASTOPOL);
  • in the scope of the operation "Ocean Shield", NATO Headquarters and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) shall exchange information (documents), including classified information, with the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (KYIV). NATO Maritime Command in Northwood, which conducts operational control of the operation "Ocean Shield" and the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (KYIV), or their representatives, shall determine the requirements and conditions of such information exchange. Protection and exchange of classified information between Ukraine, NATO, and their personnel, shall be carried out according to the Security Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization of March 13, 1995;
  • the Ukrainian warship and personnel shall be certified in the scope of preparation for the operation "Ocean Shield" and shall participate in training and education. The main principles of and requirements to such preparation shall be determined by NATO Headquarters and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (KYIV), or their authorized representatives.

NATO shall accept certified forces and equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to support the operation "Ocean Shield", and facilitate their training, preparation, and certification. These forces and equipment can be involved in all missions in the scope of the operation "Ocean Shield". Ukraine shall reserve the right to use national limitations and restrictions for the use of its forces, of which it shall timely notify NATO Headquarters and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) in writing. Limitations and restrictions arising from the national legislation do not limit the rules of application of forces designated for the operation "Ocean Shield" (paragraph 3 of the Agreement).

According to paragraph 5 of the Agreement, all agreements about command organization will follow the principle of unity of command. The forces and equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the operation "Ocean Shield" shall remain under political and military command of Ukraine.

Ukraine can delegate communication officers to appropriate NATO command structures, in particular, NATO Maritime Command in Northwood, immediately before deployment and during participation of forces and equipment of the Ukrainian Naval Forces in the operation "Ocean Shield", in accordance with specific conditions to be determined by the Ukrainian commander and the commander of the operation "Ocean Shield" (paragraph 7 of the Agreement).

Paragraphs 10-17 of the Agreement establish the following:
  • Ukraine shall cover the expenses on its forces and equipment, personnel, their upkeep, weapons, armament, and gear, with no expenses incurred by NATO, including for the deployment of the above and their return from the area of the operation "Ocean Shield", in accordance with the mutually approved rotation schedule;
  • Ukraine shall cover the expenses for organizing all types of support, including medical support of the national contingent personnel in the area of operation, with no expenses incurred by NATO. Furthermore, NATO shall not provide forces, supplies or equipment, or provide for their support, for the use by Ukraine during the mission;
  • Ukraine shall also cover the expenses required to make all types of monetary payments to the national contingent personnel, with no expenses incurred by NATO, which are de facto paid for the personnel's work in the area of operation;
  • Ukraine shall, with no expenses incurred by NATO, provide personnel, forces and equipment, armaments, control facilities, logistical facilities, and other equipment required to carry out the mission;
  • NATO shall not provide any compensation payments or remuneration to Ukraine for the involvement of its forces and equipment in the operation "Ocean Shield";
  • upkeep of representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine delegated to fulfill their official duties in NATO headquarters is financed at the expense of Ukraine;
  • NATO member states and states contributing to the operation "Ocean Shield" agreed to renounce any mutual claims, as well as claims against other non-member contributing states, for any damage caused to property and personnel inside their contingents, in the course of the operation "Ocean Shield". States contributing to the operation "Ocean Shield" shall be liable for damages resulting from their action or inaction, in case of third party claims. Ukraine assumes responsibility to take this obligation;
  • other financial aspects related to Ukraine's involvement in the operation "Ocean Shield" and not mentioned in this letter remain within the competence of Ukraine and shall not give rise to liability on the part of NATO.

Annexes to the Agreement envisage the following:
  • organization of command;
  • organization of cooperation;
  • exchange of information;
  • logistical support;
  • procedure for deployment of Ukrainian forces and equipment;
  • assessment of readiness and mutual compatibility of Ukrainian forces and for participation in the operation "Ocean Shield";
  • schematic A Agreements on organization of control (C2) and cooperation.
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