Aleksei Miller, chief of Gazprom, presented the deal as a positive step.
A meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) was held on 9 July to mark the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine.
The Charter was signed by the Ukrainian and Allied leaders at a summit meeting in Madrid on 9 July 1997. It identified areas for NATO-Ukraine consultation and cooperation, establishing the NUC to take work forward and to serve as a forum for consultation.
Opening the meeting NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer noted :"Our doors, as we have said many times, remain open. But decisions about the future of our Distinctive Partnership are very much in the hands of Ukraine's people and their elected leaders."
In his intervention Ukrainian Ambassador Kostiantyn Morozov stressed that "the Charter equipped Ukraine-NATO relations with qualitatively new mechanisms, which still retain their highest validity and priority".
Ambassadors reviewed the main achievements of the last ten years and discussed prospects for the further development of the NATO-Ukraine partnership. They highlighted the contribution of the partnership to Euro-Atlantic security and Ukraine's active support for NATO-led operations and missions. They also welcomed the practical cooperation that the partnership has generated in a wide range of areas -- in particular, defence reform.
Ambassadors underscored the progress Ukraine is making in the framework of the 2002 NATO-Ukraine Action Plan and the Intensified Dialogue on Ukraine's membership aspirations and relevant reforms, launched in 2005. Many also referred to significant work that should take place in Ukraine in order to provide public opinion with more objective and comprehensive information about the nature of the NATO-Ukraine relationship.