by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Foreign Affairs Ministers
Ladies and gentlemen,
I will start by welcoming you all to this meeting at the Ministerial level of the NATO-Ukraine Commission. And as you can see Foreign Minister Klimkin is together with us on video link from Kiev.
The reason why he is not here in person is that the Parliament in Kiev, the Rada, meets today to hopefully confirm the new Coalition government. So we all understand the importance of Parliaments in democracies. Therefore, we also understand why Foreign Minister Klimkin is not able to be here in person now, but he will come to Brussels later on.
So, let me then start by congratulating Ukraine on its new government and on the last month’s elections.
Despite difficult conditions, the elections were a success. They confirmed Ukraine’s choice for democracy, unity and European integration.
In the face of Russia’s continued and deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine, NATO will continue to show firm political support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
We support Ukraine’s freedom to decide its own future without outside interference.
Ukraine has a difficult path ahead. We support the government’s efforts to pursue a political path that meets the aspirations of the people of all the regions of Ukraine.
We will continue to work closely with the Ukrainian government to help implement their plans for reforms of the defence and security sector. And we will be stepping up our concrete support.
Our partnership is strong. And it is becoming even stronger.
So let me now conclude the public part of our meeting. And thank all the journalists and the representatives of the media who have joined us for the start of this session.