NATO Foreign Ministers on Wednesday (25 June 2014) agreed on plans to develop a robust Alliance Readiness Action Plan for the Alliance’s Summit in Wales this September and endorsed a package of support measure to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. “The Summit comes at a time when security challenges are multiplying beyond our borders,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. “Today we stressed the importance of our collective defence.”
Ministers held talks with their Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin and endorsed a package of additional measures to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. This includes the creation of new trust funds to support defence capacity building in critical areas such as logistics, command and control, cyber defence and to help retired military personnel to adapt to civilian life. “Ukraine has a clear vision for rebuilding its defence and security sector and a clear strategy for resolving the crisis,” the Secretary General said. He stressed that President Poroshenko’s peace plan is “a major step forward and we fully support it,” and called on Russia to create conditions for the implementation of the peace plan, to end its support for separatist troops, and to stop the flow of weapons and fighters across its border.
Ministers agreed to maintain the suspension of practical civilian and military cooperation with Russia. “There will be no business as usual with Russia until Russia comes back into line with its international obligations,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said.
The ministers also discussed ways to strengthen cooperation with partners around the world and strengthen NATO’s ability to assist partners that need help in defence and security sector reforms. The Secretary General said: “we agreed that the Alliance will provide such support more systematically and more swiftly. We will work on ways to create a pool of military and civilian experts who are ready to deploy when needed and to strengthen coordination with other international actors.”