“Ukraine does not stand alone”, says Chair of the NATO Military Committee at the Kyiv Security Forum

  • 20 Mar. 2024 - 21 Mar. 2024
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  • Last updated: 21 Mar. 2024 17:50

On 20-21 March 2024, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer was in Kyiv, where he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna, Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Defence Minister Rustem Umerov, and Ukrainian Chief of Defence, General Oleksandr Syrskyi. This is the first NATO military delegation to visit Ukraine since the full-scale invasion. During his visit, Admiral Bauer addressed the Kyiv Security Forum.

Chair of the Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer

Meeting President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Admiral Bauer commended him for his unwavering leadership during the last two years, and for his unrelenting determination to fight for democracy. “Today is the 756th day of what the Russian leadership thought would be a 3-day war. In the darkness of war, you are a beacon of light that shows the world what it means to fight for what you believe in. Your strength and resilience - your мужність - have astounded the world”, he noted.

In his keynote address to the Kyiv Security Forum, Admiral Bauer highlighted that the war in Ukraine is not about any physical threat posed by either Ukraine or NATO. “This war is about the most powerful weapon on earth: democracy.  That is what President Putin fears the most. If people in Ukraine can have democratic rights – real democratic rights – then people in Russia will soon crave them too”, underscored the Chair. He praised the courage and strength of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, “you have fundamentally changed many aspects of modern warfare”.

In his meetings with Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Defence Minister Rustem Umerov and Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna, Admiral Bauer discussed the current security environment and the ongoing support and training provided by NATO Allies and Partners. Discussions with General Oleksandr Syrskyi focussed on the situation on the battlefield, progress made by the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the need for more arms, ammunition, capabilities and equipment.

In a meeting with members of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament, Admiral Bauer stated that NATO and Ukraine are growing closer every day, growing ever more interoperable. 

During his visit to the National Defence University, Admiral Bauer met with Ukrainian military personnel and members of the faculty. In an informal setting, the Chair took time to answer the questions posed by audience members on NATO, its military cooperation with Ukraine and other related topics.

Admiral Bauer laid a wreath at the Memorial Wall in Kyiv, in honour of all Ukrainian soldiers who have been valiantly defending their homeland, and for those who have paid the ultimate price in the name of democracy and sovereignty. The Chair then toured an open-air exhibit that displays the wreckage of Russian military equipment captured and destroyed during the initial onslaught of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.