Rasmussen: NATO’s Support for Ukraine is ‘Unwavering’

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Aug. 6, 2014My message is very clear: NATO’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine is unwavering.

Our partnership is long-standing. It’s strong. And in response to Russia’s aggression, NATO is working even more closely with Ukraine to reform its armed forces and defence institutions.

NATO stands ready to support Ukraine with advice and assistance.

We are advising Ukraine on defence planning and defence reform and we are ready to intensify this cooperation. We also advise on technology and energy security.

In June, NATO’s foreign ministers decided to establish four trust funds to assist Ukraine. I discussed with the President how we can best use the trust funds in areas such as command and control, logistics, and re-training of retired military personnel to assist Ukraine in the present situation.

As a sign of our strong support and solidarity, we have decided to hold a special meeting with Ukraine at the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales. And I look forward to seeing President Poroshenko there.

We will continue to improve the ability of NATO and Ukrainian soldiers to work together. Together, we are planning more joint exercises, more cooperation and more shared training and education.

I look forward to welcoming the President to the NATO Summit in Wales and to making our partnership even stronger.

It is the right of every country to choose its own foreign policy, without foreign interference. NATO fully respects that right. But today, Ukraine’s freedom and future are under attack.

Instead of de-escalating the conflict, Russia continues to destabilize Ukraine.

Russia’s support to the separatists continues. It has intensified in scale and sophistication. The downing of MH17 shows the tragic global consequences of that reckless support. And Russia has massed large forces on the Ukrainian border, to shield the separatists and to use any pretext to intervene even further.

So I call on Russia to step back from the brink. Step back from the border. Do not use peacekeeping as an excuse for war-making.

I urge Russia to follow the genuine path to peace. To stop its support for separatists. To pull back its troops from Ukraine’s border. And to engage in a sincere dialogue for a peaceful solution.

That is what Ukraine needs. That is what Russia says it wants. And that is what the whole international community is working for.

Excerpt from remarks to the press by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Kiev, August 7, 2014.

Related Experts:

Image: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Aug. 6, 2014 (photo: NATO)