NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met on Thursday (17 December 2015) to discuss ongoing security challenges in Ukraine and the partnership between the Alliance and Kiev. After the meeting, Mr. Stoltenberg affirmed that NATO stands by Ukraine politically and practically, and that as the country works to strengthen its security and institutions, it has “a committed friend and partner in NATO”.
The Secretary General noted that while there has been “some progress over the last months” regarding the implementation of the Minsk agreements, there has recently been an increase in ceasefire violations. “There is a real risk of the resumption of violence,” he said. He highlighted that Ukraine still does not have full control of its borders; Russia has yet to withdraw its troops and equipment; and illegal groups have not been disarmed. Calling on all parties to respect their commitments, he stressed that “Russia bears a special responsibility.”
Reviewing the Alliance’s support for Kiev, Mr. Stoltenberg underlined that NATO’s Trust Funds are helping to modernise Ukraine’s defence capabilities, and that advisors are working with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence and the General Staff. He added that many Allies also offer support bilaterally in several areas. “These projects make a real difference in building Ukraine’s ability to defend itself and strengthen its institutions,” he said.
Mr. Stoltenberg welcomed Ukraine’s commitment to implementing ambitious reforms, calling these efforts “essential to building a strong, democratic and stable Ukraine.” He urged Ukraine to stay on this path, saying “this will be good for Ukraine and good for European security.”
L. J. De Rothschild