by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Kyiv
Thank you so much, President Poroshenko and Petro, thank you so much for hosting us all here today.
As you said, last time I visited Kyiv, I attended a meeting of the National Defence and Security Council. This time I’m bringing the whole North Atlantic Council of NATO to Kyiv, so we can have a meeting in the NATO-Ukraine Commission. And we are so grateful for this opportunity to meet with you and also to have a meeting in the NATO-Ukraine Commission, and I think the meeting is yet another example of the close partnership and friendship between Ukraine and NATO.
And today, we will mark the twentieth anniversary since the signing of the Distinctive Partnership between NATO and the Ukraine. And the North Atlantic Council has travelled here to Kyiv to celebrate our unique friendship.
We really value Ukraine’s many contributions to the Alliance over the past two decades. Ukraine is the only partner participating in all NATO missions and operations, including in Afghanistan and in Kosovo.
We are also here to demonstrate NATO’s solidarity with Ukraine and our firm support for the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of your country.
Russia has maintained its aggressive actions against Ukraine. But NATO and NATO Allies stand on your side. NATO Allies do not, and will not, recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea.
And we remain concerned by the security situation in Eastern Ukraine, which has already cost thousands of lives. The Minsk agreements must be fully implemented and OSCE monitors be granted full, safe and unhindered access to the whole of Ukraine.
Since 2014, NATO has significantly increased its support for Ukraine.
At the Warsaw Summit a year ago, NATO agreed a Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine to help you provide for your own security. And to help implement wide-ranging reforms in the security and defence sector.
NATO will continue to support this ambitious reform agenda, which will make your country more democratic, more resilient and more prosperous. We commend Ukraine’s progress in implementing these reforms despite very difficult circumstances, and urge you to continue down this path.
NATO is a friend to Ukraine, just as Ukraine is a friend of NATO. We believe that an independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security.
So we welcome this opportunity to continue and to strengthen our partnership and friendship with Ukraine. So thank you once again for hosting us all here today, President Poroshenko. And that ends the public part of this meeting.