NATO's support to Ukraine demonstrated not only in words but also in deeds – Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claims that the Alliance supports Ukraine in the face of aggression from the Russian Federation, not only in words, but also in deeds.
Thus, the Alliance Secretary General, at a press conference that took place after the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Brussels on Tuesday, responded to the question of what he would say to the fact that all conversations about support and serious concern are just words that can be ignored.
"What we have seen since 2014 [the start of Russia aggression] is that NATO allies and NATO has provided significant support to Ukraine, in many different ways. We express strong political support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty, but the NATO allies and NATO also provide practical support, we help them to build their defense and security institutions, we help them to modernize their armed forces with the reforms and NATO allies also provide training, support with training, exercises, participating in joint exercises, and also supporting in other different ways," he said.
Stoltenberg noted that NATO and Ukraine have developed a partnership, which is strong, which has been strengthened over the last years also by granting Ukraine, the special status as an Enhanced Opportunity Partner. "So, this is a support which is demonstrated not only words but also in deeds, and I can further demonstrate the strong support of NATO allies and NATO to Ukraine," the Secretary General assured.
He recalled that the Alliance has "a very limited number of Enhanced Opportunity Partners in NATO: it's Sweden, Finland, Georgia, Jordan, and Australia." "And also Ukraine. And that's a platform to further strengthen our political cooperation, our practical cooperation to work together. This is good for Ukraine but also good for NATO allies, and I strongly welcome the renewed commitment and the very strong message of the importance of the close partnership, which has demonstrated through the Enhanced Opportunity Partnership, which has been established between Ukraine and NATO," Stoltenberg noted.
In addition, he recalled about "stepped up our cooperation in the Black Sea region with more exercises and port visits."
"NATO allies have also responded by increasing the readiness of our forces, for the first time of the year so cutting defense spending, all allies are investing more in defense, and we have increased also our presence, military presence, in the eastern part of the Alliance, in the Black Sea region but also in the Baltic region. All of this was done as a response to Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine. So, this is a support which is demonstrated not only words but also in deeds, and during the meeting today we, of course, discussed how we can further strengthen our partnership, and demonstrate the strong support of NATO allies and NATO to Ukraine," Stoltenberg summed up.