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    NATO Begins Implementing Airspace Security Program in Ukraine - Ministry

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    A group of NATO experts arrived in Kiev to work on implementing the alliance's Regional Airspace Security Programme (RASP), the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — NATO's RASP is designed to enable Ukraine to share air traffic information with its neighbors.

    "Those taking part in the event have presented of the project's functional possibilities and discussed issues related to continuing consultations between Ukrainian and NATO experts within the framework of carrying out technical and operational studies of the possibilities for implementing NATO's RASP," the ministry said in a statement.

    According to Artur Artemenko, the head of the Ukrainian Air Force's delegation, implementing the RASP will enable Ukraine to receive information about air incidents and potential aerial threats from neighboring countries, as well as improve cross-border coordination in resolving airspace security incidents.

    Ukraine dropped its non-aligned status in 2014, opening the way for NATO membership and drawing criticism from Russia and many other states.

    In September 2015, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko signed a new military doctrine in which one of the main objectives for the development of the country’s armed forces is to bring them in line with NATO standards by 2020.

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