Stoltenberg called on Russia to end its support for the militants in eastern Ukraine

Stoltenberg called on Russia to end its support for the militants in eastern Ukraine

KIEV, Novem. 1 (FENA) -Addressing the Verkhovna Rada on Thursday (31 October 2019), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg encouraged parliamentarians to advance Ukraine’s ambitious reforms. “You have the opportunity to work together across party lines, for the benefit of all citizens of Ukraine and to embrace the possibilities that come with a free, open and democratic society,” he said.

The NATO-Ukraine Commission met in Kyiv on Thursday (31 October 2019) to address the security situation in eastern Ukraine, the country’s reform process, and progress in the NATO-Ukraine partnership. Chairing the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg underlined the Alliance’s steadfast support for Ukraine. “NATO highly values its partnership with Ukraine,” he said.

Addressing the security situation in eastern Ukraine, Allies commended President Zelenskyy on his commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The Secretary General noted that Allies are encouraged by the progress in Stanytsia Luhanska and other areas, where troops are pulling back. At the same time, Allies expressed concerns over reports of restrictions against OSCE monitors. The Secretary General called on Russia to end its support for the militants in eastern Ukraine, and withdraw its forces and equipment from Ukrainian territory. “We will never recognise Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, and we condemn Russia’s aggressive actions in the Black Sea region,” he stressed.

The Commission also reviewed NATO’s Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine. “Through ten Trust Funds, NATO Allies and partners have pledged over forty million euros to support Ukraine, in areas such as command and control, cyber defence and medical rehabilitation,” said the Secretary General. He added that this is delivering real results, with NATO strengthening Ukraine’s resilience to hybrid threats and cyber-attacks.

Allies also welcomed Ukraine’s progress in delivering key reforms, and encouraged President Zelenskyy to build on this progress. “NATO will continue to provide advice and practical support,” said the Secretary General. He also noted the importance of minority rights: “All Allies agree that Ukraine should fully implement the Venice Commission recommendations.”

Following the meeting, the NATO-Ukraine Commission issued a statement, reiterating the close partnership between Ukraine and NATO.