NATO Foreign Ministers to reaffirm commitment to collective defence
NATO Foreign Ministers will show their steadfast commitment to Allied collective defence in the wake of the Ukraine crisis and agree on ways to support Ukraine, said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the start of the two-day ministerial on Tuesday (1 April 2014). “Defence starts with deterrence so we will take the necessary steps to make it clear to the world that no threat against NATO Allies will succeed,” he said.
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine “challenges our vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace,” said the Secretary General. “It fundamentally changes Europe’s security landscape and it causes instability right on NATO’s borders”. The minister’s first working session will focus on increasing support for Ukraine and on the consequences of Russia’s illegal military actions against Ukraine for NATO-Russia relations. They will also meet with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia in a session of the NATO-Ukraine Commission. “We will agree on ways to support our partner Ukraine, with political and practical measures within the framework of our long-standing partnership,” said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen. “An independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and respect for human rights, minorities, and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security.”
The Secretary General also said that ministers will make clear that Russia’s actions are unacceptable. “We will take decisions on which cooperation with Russia is still appropriate. Because through its actions, Russia has undermined the principles on which our partnership is built, and has breached its own international commitments. So we cannot go on doing business as usual,” he said.