by NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană at the Kyiv Security Forum
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and dear friends.
It’s my honour to address you today alongside many distinguished other speakers.
Arseniy, Danylo, thank you for the opportunity.
And congratulations for organising the Kyiv Security Forum once again this year, in such difficult times for your country.
Discussions like the ones you have in this Forum are of great importance.
So I am very glad I can take part in this.
We are at the eve of an historic NATO Summit in Madrid.
It takes place at a pivotal moment.
Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine has brought bloodshed to your people. It has shattered peace in Europe. And it is fuelling food and energy crises worldwide.
All NATO Allies continue to condemn this war, and we call on President Putin to stop invading and occupying Ukraine.
Russia must withdraw all its military forces and equipment, and cease imposing its rule on a free and independent nation.
All NATO Allies also continue to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainians who are fighting so bravely for their homeland, and for our shared values.
Our support to your country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering.
An independent, democratic, and stable Ukraine is key for Euro-Atlantic security as a whole.
And that is at the time of a critical juncture, we are committed to step-up our assistance, to help Ukrainians defend their rights, their freedom, and their sovereignty.
With our support, Ukraine can prevail. It must prevail.
In Madrid, we will take important decisions for our future security, including on our continued support to Ukraine.
I am very pleased that President Zelenskyy will address our Summit.
Several Allies have committed bilaterally to provide further equipment, including much needed heavy weapons.
In addition, I expect NATO leaders in Madrid to endorse a strengthened Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine.
It is composed of concrete projects to assist in the short term, including with anti-drone equipment, secure communications and fuel.
But more importantly, we also look at the longer-term.
For example, we will help Ukraine transition from Soviet-era military equipment to modern NATO equipment to boost interoperability.
And we will further strengthen Ukraine’s resilience, as well as its defences in capabilities and security institutions across the board.
All of this builds on the significant support provided to Ukraine by NATO and NATO Allies since 2014.
We have equipped and trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers.
And provided billions of dollars of weapons and other types of assistance.
To help the country uphold its right to self-defence enshrined in the UN Charter.
Finally, a few words on the next Strategic Concept, which leaders will agree in Madrid.
This document will reflect our radically changed security environment and it will guide NATO in a more turbulent world.
It will address many challenges that are hardly mentioned in the current Strategic Concept from 2010: climate change, cyber, hybrid and space, to name a few.
For the first time, it will also address China and the challenges it poses to our interests, our security and our values.
And importantly, I expect the new document will refer to Russia as the most significant and direct threat to our security.
I also expect the 2022 Strategic Concept to reaffirm the decisions we took back at the 2008 Bucharest Summit, and all subsequent decisions, with respect to Ukraine, and also Georgia.
Intimidation does not work.
NATO’s door remains open.
Thank you so very much. I wish you a very good conference, and our prayers and our support go with the brave Ukrainian people