BELGIUM—(ENEWSPF)—6 March 2014. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arsenii Yatseniuk on Thursday (6 March 2014) that “in these difficult moments, NATO stands by Ukraine. NATO stands by the right of every nation to decide its own future. NATO stands by Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and by the fundamental principles of international law”.
The Secretary General and the Prime Minister discussed the grave developments in Ukraine and how NATO and Ukraine can strengthen their partnership. The Secretary General said the crisis in Ukraine “presents serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area as a whole.” He added that the crisis is the gravest threat to European security since the end of the Cold War.
Mr. Fogh Rasmussen stressed that the Alliance intends to step up its partnership cooperation through the NATO-Ukraine Commission to support democratic reforms. This will include bolstering ties with Ukraine’s political and military leadership, strengthening efforts to build the capacity of the Ukrainian military and more joint training and exercises. NATO will also do more to include Ukraine in its multinational projects to develop capabilities.
The NATO Secretary General commended the people of Ukraine for their determination and courage and for the restraint shown by the Ukraine armed forces, and reiterated that a political solution is the only way out of the crisis.
“Above all, we call on Russia to honour its international commitments and halt the military escalation in Crimea. We call on Russia to withdraw its forces to their bases, and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine. There should be no attempt to draw new lines on the map of Europe in the 21st century”, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen concluded.