by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Heads of State and Government during the NATO Summit held in Newport
Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to this meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission. President Poroshenko, I welcome you here today, at a testing time for your nation.
An independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security. We stand united in our support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And we uphold the right of every country to choose its own future free from outside interference.
We call on Russia to end its illegal and self-declared annexation of Crimea, which we do not recognise. We call on Russia to pull back its troops from Ukraine. To stop the flow of arms, fighters and funds to the separatists. We call on Russia to step back from confrontation and take the path of peace.
The Ukrainian people has shown its strong commitment to freedom and democracy. Ukraine has been an active and reliable partner to NATO over many years. With us in our operations and in the NATO Response Force. We highly value our partnership.
Our meeting sends a clear message that NATO stands with Ukraine. We support Ukraine’s democratic reforms. And we will be working even closer together to help reform Ukraine’s defence sector and build a strong modern army. And continue to improve the ability of Ukrainian and NATO forces to operate together.
So the partnership between NATO and Ukraine is strong. And we are determined to make it even stronger, today and in the future.
This concludes the public part of our meeting. And I would like to thank the members of the media who have joined us.