A version of this article appeared on the NATO website on December 15.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg discussed the alliance’s efforts to support Ukraine’s government with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at NATO headquarters December 15.
Stoltenberg praised Ukraine’s commitment to its partnership with NATO despite challenging circumstances, and pledged ongoing political and practical support.
“Your visit just underlines the strong partnership between NATO and Ukraine. We also very much appreciate that we are able to develop our partnership. And especially because the people of Ukraine have chosen the path of democracy and closer cooperation with Europe,” Stoltenberg said. “And we welcome that. We underline that the decision by the people of Ukraine has to be respected.”
The secretary-general said that five trust funds created by NATO to help Ukraine improve its own security are now up and running. “They aim to make Ukraine’s defense forces more modern, more transparent, and more effective,” Stoltenberg said. NATO’s contributions are in addition to bilateral support provided separately by individual allies.
Russia’s continued actions to destabilize Ukraine were also discussed. “Mr. Prime Minister, you have shown a real desire to find a peaceful solution to this crisis,” Stoltenberg said. “NATO fully supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Calling the Minsk agreements “the best way to a peaceful solution,” Stoltenberg praised Ukraine’s efforts to implement the accords, and called on Russia to do the same.
Stoltenberg said a sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security. “NATO will stand by you as you work towards that goal,” he said.