Joint press conference
with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko
Thank you so much President Poroshenko, and thank you so much for hosting the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission here in Kyiv today. And thank you also for the strong partnership between NATO and Ukraine. This is something we appreciate very much at NATO because we have to remember that this is a partnership where we support each other. NATO provides strong practical and political support for Ukraine but at the same time Ukraine provides support to NATO and we are very grateful for the fact that Ukraine contributes to all NATO missions and operations from Afghanistan, Kosovo, Mediterranean and also helped piracy off the Horn of Africa. So the partnership between NATO and Ukraine is a strong mutual partnership where we help to strengthen each other and I’m very grateful for that and also for you personal commitment and your personal leadership in developing this partnership.
We have just discussed the situation in Eastern Ukraine. The conflict continues to claim lives. The fighting has killed more than 10,000 people, including almost 3,000 civilians. It is clear that the ceasefire is not holding and we are concerned by increasing threats against OSCE monitors. The Minsk Agreements remain the only path towards peace. Russia must withdraw its thousands of soldiers from Ukraine and stop supporting the militants, with command and control, and military equipment. NATO stands firm in our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We do not, and we will not, recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea.
NATO will continue to provide Ukraine with practical support. Today, we reviewed our Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine. Through ten different Trust Funds, NATO Allies have pledged almost forty million euros to support Ukraine. In areas such as command and control, cyber defence and medical rehabilitation. We are now working to provide Ukraine with satellite communications equipment. In recent days, we have delivered state of the art cyber defence equipment, helping key government institutions, to better investigate cyber security incidents and to protect themselves from cyber-attacks, such as those we saw recently.
Let me also add that on top of what NATO provides through the Alliance, we also encourage of course support by NATO Allies on the bilateral level and we welcome strongly the support from many NATO Allies on the bilateral level to Ukraine in different ways.
This morning, I was pleased to meet Ukrainian veterans, who benefit from our Medical Rehabilitation Trust Fund and who will represent Ukraine at the Invictus Games in Toronto.
These are just a few examples of our support. NATO Allies also provide military training to Ukrainian armed forces and every day, NATO advisors support Ukraine’s security and defence reforms.
I welcome the steps you, President Poroshenko, and the Ukrainian government have taken to implement key reforms and to counter corruption. We encourage you to build on this progress. These reforms are essential, to ensure security and prosperity for all Ukrainians and to bring Ukraine closer to NATO.
NATO will continue to support you on this path.