NATO can help Ukraine integrate in the European family
The NATO Secretary General visited Kyiv on 24 February 2011 and met with President Viktor Yanukovych, with Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, with Minister of Foreign Affairs Kostyantyn Grushchenko and other high-level officials. The Secretary General also had a meeting with Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn and other members of Parliament. During the meetings, the Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stressed that there is strong support across the Alliance to deepen NATO’s partnership with Ukraine.
“We all know that Ukraine today is determined to integrate fully into the European family of nations – which is where it clearly belongs”, the Secretary General said. “The main goal of my visit is to discuss how NATO can help Ukraine to meet these aspirations.”
During the visit, the Secretary General also addressed students at the National Taras Shevchenko University.
“The current Ukrainian Government has declared European integration its top foreign policy priority. And it believes that constructive cooperation with NATO – rather than a drive towards membership - can best support this aim”, the Secretary General said. “I want to make clear that we in NATO fully respect that decision. We believe that constructive partnership with NATO can indeed help Ukraine to chart its path into the European mainstream”.
The Secretary General thanked Ukraine for the contributions to international security and especially for the steadfast participation in NATO operations.