NATO Secretary General: "we will not back down" in support for Ukraine
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg outlined the key decisions taken by NATO Foreign Ministers at their first meeting in Bucharest on Tuesday (29 November 2022), underlining that the meeting sent "a strong message of NATO unity, and of sustained support to Ukraine".<!IoRangePreExecute>
Despite Ukraine’s bravery and progress on the ground, Russia retains strong military capabilities and a large number of troops. Faced with President Putin’s attempts to weaponise winter, "to force Ukrainians to freeze or flee… and to divide all of us who support them," Mr Stoltenberg said that NATO will continue to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes”. He added: “we will not back down.” The Secretary General welcomed additional pledges made today to NATO’s Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine, which funds urgent non-lethal support including fuel and generators. He also welcomed the opportunity to participate in a G7 foreign ministerial "to secure commitments for the emergency infrastructure coordination mechanism to assist Ukraine."
Allies reaffirmed support for Ukraine’s right to choose its own path. Mr Stoltenberg said: "we recognise and respect Ukraine’s aspirations for membership. However, our focus now is on providing immediate support as Ukraine defends itself against Russian aggression." Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba will take part in discussions with Allied foreign ministers later on Tuesday. Allies will meet with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Moldova on Wednesday.
In closing, the Secretary General welcomed Norway’s offer to host an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers next year, to help prepare for the Vilnius Summit in July 2023.