Opening remarks

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with Georgia and Ukraine in Foreign Ministers' session

  • 04 Dec. 2018 -
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  • Last updated: 04 Dec. 2018 16:12

(As delivered)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg official opens the meeting

So welcome. Then we are ready to start. Please find your seats and welcome to all of you.

Good afternoon.

Welcome to this meeting with the Foreign Ministers of Georgia and Ukraine.

NATO fully supports the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of both countries.

And we continue to provide strong, tailored political and practical support for both Georgia and Ukraine.

Allies have acknowledged the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of both nations.

At our Summit in July, NATO leaders adopted a Declaration by the NATO-Georgia Commission.‎

Reaffirming our strong support for Georgia as it prepares for eventual membership.

And improving Georgia’s ability to defend itself.

At our Summit, Allies also reaffirmed their solidarity with Ukraine.

NATO Allies do not, and will not recognise Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.

Following Russia's use of military force near the Sea of Azov, we call on Russia to ensure freedom of navigation.

And release the Ukrainian sailors and ships it seized, without delay. NATO is proud of the unique and distinct partnerships we have with Georgia, and with Ukraine. And we look forward to deepening them further.

This concludes the public part of this meeting. And I thank the media for joining us at the opening of the meeting. So thank you and then we continue the meeting in just a moment.