from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to the Ukrainian people on Ukrainian Independence Day
Your great poet, Taras Shevchenko, wrote:
“It makes great difference to me
That evil folk and wicked men
Attack our Ukraine, once so free,
And rob and plunder it at will.
It makes great difference to me.”
It makes great difference to NATO too.
Russia’s war in Ukraine is the greatest crisis for Europe’s security since World War Two.
The Ukrainian armed forces and the whole Ukrainian people are showing tremendous courage and determination.
And, under President Zelenskyy’s leadership, you are an inspiration to the world.
I pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives or been injured.
And to all Ukrainian men and women who are fighting for their country, their freedom and their loved ones.
NATO and Allies have been supporting Ukraine since your country won its independence.
We stepped up our support after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.
And we have been doing more than ever since the start of Russia’s invasion.
You can continue to count on NATO’s support.
For as long as it takes.
As NATO leaders made clear at our Madrid Summit,
a strong, independent Ukraine is vital for the stability of the Euro-Atlantic area.
Ukraine must prevail.
And Ukraine will prevail.
On your Independence Day, I wish you strength and success.