Joint press point

with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk

  • 22 Sep. 2015 -
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  • Last updated: 23 Sep. 2015 10:20

ARSENIY YATSENYUK (Ukraine Prime Minister): [Speaking with Translator]. Secretary General, esteemed delegates it’s my pleasure to welcome you in Ukraine. It is the position of the allied countries which became the decisive factor in the protection of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

The allied countries, the North Atlantic Alliance as a whole, were the first to condemn Russia for illegal annexation of Crimea, for illegal occupation of part of Eastern Ukraine and for the beginning of actual military aggression against our country. We believe that today the North Atlantic Alliance is the key organization for the protection of security for its 28 member countries and also for the free world. We highly appreciate the level of our cooperation which dramatically changed over the past year.

We understand that the way of Ukraine to full-fledged membership with NATO requires long time and much effort, that’s why the plan which we have prepared will be the key factor for our efforts on our way to future prospective membership. When I say about prospective membership for Ukraine I would like to remind you all about the decisions of the Bucharest Summit of 2008 whereby it was said that the doors of alliance will remain open for Ukraine.

And I believe that during the next NATO summit in Warsaw this will be also reinforced by concrete decisions, specific decisions. The efforts of the allied members are aimed at the creation of the strong capable Ukrainian Army, Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Armed Forces which now withstand the nuclear aggressor of Russian Federation. New system of logistics in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, new system of medical assistance, new system of training, education for our military people, all this is, the key is in the focus of the attention in our cooperation with the alliance.

Secretary General has emphasized once again how important it is for us to maintain bilateral relations with many members of the alliance. And I would like to reiterate myself saying that we have very good, very well developed relations with the United States of America, with Great Britain, with Germany, with many other members of the alliance. Ukraine now is in the forefront of the protection of European values, European peace and stability. And I’m also assured that together with the alliance, with their support, Ukraine will regain its territorial integrity, its sovereignty and freedom. Time will come when it will be declared that Ukraine has become the 29th member of the North Atlantic Alliance. Thank you Secretary General.

JENS STOLTENBERG (NATO Secretary General):  Thank you so much Prime Minister Yatsenyuk. It’s great to be here and great to see you again and I appreciate very much the close cooperationship we have developed over several years between NATO and Ukraine.

[Translator repeats his remarks in foreign language]

And we are grateful for your continued commitment to our partnership and we’re grateful for the way you are participating in different NATO operations, be it in Afghanistan, in Kosovo or fighting piracy off the Horn of Africa. And NATO will continue to support Ukraine, we provide political support and we provide practical support.

We support your territorial integrity, your sovereignty and we support the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements which are the only possible way for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Eastern Ukraine.

And we will continue to provide the practical support, we do that through the trust funds but also through the advisors we have in the Ministry of Defence and in working with your general staff because we want to help you to increase your capacity to defend yourself. And we would like to do even more and that’s why we today have signed an agreement to help develop Ukraine’s government’s communications capabilities, strategic communication becomes more and more important and we would like to work with you also in this area.

We will help train the people at all levels, both civilian and military personnel to be more effective communicators. And during this visit we are also agreed that we are going to step up our cooperation when it comes to technical military cooperation. This will help Ukrainian industry and Armed Forces as they develop new capabilities that will allow Ukraine to work better with NATO allies and partners.

And then we will continue to work with you on command and control, logistics, cyber defence and in many other areas. And let me also commend you for reforms you are implementing. This is important because it enables you to improve the capacity and the capabilities of your Armed Forces but also the reforms you are implementing in the economy increases the resilience and increases the capacity of the Ukrainian economy which is important for you having the economic strength to be able to defend yourself against the aggressive actions of Russia in the eastern part of the country.

And I welcome the renewed efforts to implement the Minsk Agreements and the fact that we have seen a strong decrease in the numbers of violations of the ceasefire. But the situation is still fragile and Russia continues to support the separatists with weapons, with armed forces, with training and I call on Russia to stop supporting the separatists because this is destabilizing Eastern Ukraine and violating the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Ukraine.

Mr. Prime Minister, Ukraine is a highly valued partner of NATO, you can count on our support, we will continue to support you and thank you so much for excellent meetings and excellent discussions today.