NATO summit in Warsaw: strengthening of the eastern flank and Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed the continued cooperation between NATO and Kyiv
July 8, 27th NATO summit started in Warsaw. Ukraine was represented by President Petro Poroshenko and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin. This event is of great importance for the NATO members and for the Ukrainian side as well. The first aim was elaborating collective decisions on strengthening world security. The second purpose was to make sure that the international community is ready to conduct a consistent policy with regard to Russia and create a comprehensive package of care.
First day: placement of NATO battalions on the eastern flank
“Allies are united in their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said. “We do not and we will not recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea and we condemn Russia’s deliberate destabilisation of eastern Ukraine,” stressed the Secretary General.
He noted that NATO would give some recommendations aimed to make the Ukrainian defense and security institutions more effective and accountable. According to him, this is the purpose of the accepted comprehensive support package. Trust funds, approved at the last summit, deal with the cyber defense, logistics, and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers. In the future, the parties to work in other areas as well. For example, to counter threats of individual explosive devices and hybrid war.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recalled that NATO remains a fundamental source of security for all people and for the stability of the whole world.
According to NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, the summit will continue the course on strengthening the eastern flank of the alliance. The cause and the reason for it is Russian occupation of Crimea, Sevastopol, and aggression in eastern Ukraine.
NATO Secretary General also said that NATO would begin placement of battalions in Poland and the Baltic countries in 2017. According to him, these battalions will be multinational, " Canada will be the framework nation for Latvia. Germany will lead the battalion in Lithuania. The United Kingdom will lead in Estonia. And the United States will serve as framework nation in Poland."
Ukrainian side at the summit
Poroshenko’s two-day visit began with a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ukrainian President expressed his condolences to the Turkish people over the tragedy that took place in Istanbul airport and Turkish President expressed his support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and once again condemned the persecution of the Crimean Tatars in occupied Crimea. The leaders agreed to further coordination in the sphere of regional security and enhancing economic cooperation between the states.
After that, Poroshenko was scheduled to meet with David Cameron. They discussed the issues of bilateral relations and Brexit issues. At the same time, Cameron assured that in terms of Brexit, Ukraine would have a support.
Poroshenko has also met with the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö, who said that he favored retention of sanctions against Russia. Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Didier Reynders shared the same position.
July 8, Poroshenko had some informal talks with the leaders of the United States, Germany, Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands.
Ukraine’s comments on NATO
Meanwhile, Ukraine has been discussing the prospects of NATO-Ukraine relations. In particular, the MP Hanna Hopko expressed confidence that the citizens of Ukraine see NATO membership as an opportunity to win the war with Russia. A lawmaker Viktor Chumak said that now Ukraine does not need to conduct a referendum on joining NATO, as people are not afraid of NATO anymore.
Comments of state representatives
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen noted that NATO must maintain a strong stance against Russia, but the negotiations must take place.
According to her, the position of the Baltic countries in their quest to defend is quite understandable, because Russia has already demonstrated its aggression.
Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande has called Russia a partner that can sometimes use force.
"NATO has no role at all to be saying what Europe's relations with Russia should be. France, Russia is not an adversary, not a threat. Russia is a partner which, it is true, may sometimes, and we have seen that in Ukraine, uses force which we have condemned when it annexed Crimea," Hollande added.
The second day: a comprehensive package of NATO assistance
NATO-Ukraine meeting and Poroshenko’s official meeting with leaders of G5 took place on the second day of the summit.
Afghanistan is not alone
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General said that NATO will continue its mission in Afghanistan after 2016, and will finance the Afghan security forces until 2020.
"Afghanistan still faces serious instability and violence. So our continued political, military and financial engagement is of great importance," he explained.
NATO assistance package to Ukraine
Defense Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak and the Minister of National Defense of Poland Antoni Macierewicz have signed a protocol amending the Agreement between the Governments of the two countries in the military-technical cooperation.
Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said that Ukraine should become a member of the alliance in the future.
NATO comprehensive aid package for Ukraine was also widely discussed.
Ukrainian side noted that obtaining the preferences is not the whole thing; the right use of these preferences is extremely significant.
The results Ukraine - NATO meeting
Jens Stoltenberg called on Moscow to stop the political, military, and financial support of the separatists in Donbas. All parties must fulfill Minsk agreements and work for a diplomatic solution. Despite the ongoing conflict, Ukraine is committed to implementing reforms and fighting corruption. Therefore, the implementation of these reforms is important.
Stoltenberg also added that the issue of Ukraine's accession to NATO is not on the agenda.
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