Ukraine can rely on NATO, Secretary General says in visit to Kiev
Ukraine can count on the Alliance’s continued political and practical support, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told members of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council on Tuesday (22 September 2015) in Kiev. “In these difficult times, Ukraine can rely on NATO,” he said.
The Secretary General discussed Ukraine’s reform efforts, the current situation in eastern Ukraine and future NATO-Ukraine cooperation at the Council which was chaired by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko. After the meeting Mr. Stoltenberg signed two agreements, one to formalize the diplomatic status of NATO’s representation in Ukraine and the other to support Ukraine on communications. A third document, a joint declaration, was also signed by other NATO and Ukraine officials on strengthening NATO-Ukraine technical cooperation on defence.
“NATO provides Ukraine with political and practical support,” said the Secretary General. “We support your independence and your territorial integrity and we support the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. This remains the only way out of the crisis.” The Secretary General commended Ukraine for the difficult decisions it has had to make on political reforms, “but it shows that Kiev is sticking to its Minsk commitments. It is important that you continue on this path.”
Later during his visit, Mr Stoltenberg will meet with Okelsandr Turchinov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, Volodymyr Hroisman, the Speaker of the Rada, and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
NATO has set up five Trust Funds which are up and running. Projects are being developed in areas like command and control, cyber defence, logistics, medical rehabilitation and military career transition. NATO is also providing advisors to the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff working on defence reforms. NATO and Ukraine also train together both between military forces and in civilian tasks, like this week’s “Ukraine 2015” joint NATO-Ukraine civilian emergency response exercise.