by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the joint press point with the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko
Thank you President Poroshenko for the good discussions.
You are showing strong leadership at this important time for Ukraine.
This is my first visit as NATO Secretary General to Kiev.
Ukraine is an important and committed partner for NATO.
Our troops have served together in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
Our ships have fought piracy in the Indian Ocean.
Ukrainian troops have participated in the NATO Response Force.
And our forces exercise regularly together to improve capabilities.
NATO can rely on Ukraine. And Ukraine can rely on NATO.
Our partnership is already very strong. And today we took steps to strengthen it further.
NATO will continue to support Ukraine on its reform path.
Our five Trust Funds make a real contribution.
In areas like command and control, cyber defence, logistics, and medical rehabilitation.
We also provide advisors to the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff.
In addition, NATO Allies are supporting your country in many different ways.
From training to equipment and humanitarian aid.But our partnership will grow even more.
We will enhance our defence technical cooperation.
So our forces can work even closer together. This will help modernize your defence industry.We have also signed an agreement on the status of the NATO offices in Kiev and another agreement to boost Ukraine’s government communication capabilities.
Mr. President, we have discussed the security situation in Eastern Ukraine.
NATO stands firm in our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea and its military actions in Eastern Ukraine are a serious challenge.
To Ukraine - but also to the security of Europe.The Minsk agreements remain the only way out of the crisis.
And to restore Ukrainian sovereign control of its own borders.NATO fully supports the efforts within the Trilateral Contact Group and the Normandy format to find a political solution. .
I welcome the renewed effort to fully implement the Minsk agreements.
The ceasefire is mainly holding.
This is encouraging.
But the situation remains fragile.
Russia continues to support the separatists. Not only politically but also militarily. This must stop.
Heavy weapons have to be removed from the contact line.
And OSCE monitors must have full access so they can do their job.You, President Poroshenko, and the Ukrainian government, have taken bold steps towards constitutional changes for more decentralisation, for more self-governance.
These are difficult political decisions. But they show Ukraine’s commitment to find a peaceful solution.
A secure, prosperous and independent Ukraine is in everyone’s interest.
Thank you Mr President.