NATO Secretary General's statement on the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine

  • 24 Feb. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 24 Feb. 2024 08:59

Today, we mark two years since Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine. Starting the biggest war in Europe since World War Two. Let me begin by honouring all those brave Ukrainians who have fallen or been wounded in defence of their homeland.

Statement on the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine

The situation on the battlefield remains extremely serious.
President Putin’s aim to dominate Ukraine has not changed.
And there are no indications that he is preparing for peace.

But we must not lose heart.
Ukraine has demonstrated remarkable skill and fierce determination again and again.

Ukraine did not collapse in weeks, as many feared it would.
You have recaptured half of the territory seized by Russia.
Pushed Russia back from large parts of the Black Sea.
And inflicted heavy losses on the Russian forces.

Above all, Ukraine retains its freedom and independence.
This has been made possible by your courage and resolve.
Enabled by major military and economic support from NATO Allies.
Just in the past days and weeks, NATO Allies have announced new packages of aid worth billions of dollars.
These cover key capabilities like artillery ammunition, air defence, and combat boats.
As well as F-16 equipment and spare parts, drones, and demining equipment.
More support is on the way. 

President Putin started this war because he wanted to close NATO’s door, and deny Ukraine the right to choose its own path.
But he has achieved the exact opposite:
Ukraine is now closer to NATO than ever before.

We are helping to make your forces more and more interoperable with Allies.
We will open a new Joint Analysis, Training and Education Centre in Poland together.
And we are deepening our political ties through the NATO-Ukraine Council, where we consult and make decisions together.

Ukraine will join NATO.
It is not a question of if, but of when.

As we prepare you for that day, NATO will continue to stand with Ukraine.
For your security, and for ours.