Public opening remarks
by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ukraine is at a key point in its history. And NATO stands by Ukraine at this difficult moment.
We support Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their destiny free from outside interference.
The presidential election was an important step on that path. Ukrainians showed their clear commitment to a united, independent and sovereign country. We welcome President Poroshenko’s efforts to stabilise the country. And this meeting is an opportunity to discuss President’s priorities.
NATO and individual Allies have already provided advice, as well as technical and material support.
We have now endorsed a package of additional measures. This includes the establishment of new trust funds to support defence capacity building in key areas such as command and control, and helping retired military personnel to adapt to civilian life. NATO Allies will continue supporting Ukraine in your efforts to build a strong army and to reform the security sector to defend a sovereign, united and democratic Ukraine.
At the same time, NATO remains firm in condemning Russia’s illegal and illegitimate “annexation” of Crimea, which we do not recognize. We continue to call on Russia to complete the withdrawal of its troops on the border with Ukraine, stop the flow of weapons and fighters across the border, and exercise its influence among armed separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence. We call on the Russian Federation to meet its Geneva commitments and cooperate with the government of Ukraine as it implements its plans for promoting peace, unity and reform.
With that, I would like to conclude the public part of our session. I thank the representatives of the media for their attendance.