Stoltenberg and Poroshenko: top quotes at meeting in Brussels, December 17
19:20, 17 December 2015

Stoltenberg and Poroshenko: top quotes at meeting in Brussels, December 17

The officials discussed Ukraine-NATO cooperation during the President’s visit to Belgium

19:20, 17 December 2015

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General 

Ukraine showed it is ambitious in terms of reforms. The progress in reforms is visible, and it’s essential to building a strong, democratic and stable Ukraine. I urge you to continue this path, and this will be good for Ukraine and good for European security. As you do this work, which is quite important for the Ukrainian history, you may become a reliable NATO partner.

Many sources confirm the military presence of Russia in the east of Ukraine. This demonstrates the special responsibility of Russian Federation one more time in the terms of Minsk agreements. They have to withdraw the troops and heavy weapons, and the ceasefire must continue.

Regarding the Russian presence in eastern Ukraine, we have stated again and again that Russia is present with military personnel. And it is based on our own intelligence sources, it’s based on open sources, it’s based on reports in the media, it’s based on reports from non-governmental organizations… But today that’s also confirmed by President Putin.

NATO continues to stand by Ukraine with both political and practical support. And we strongly support the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. There has been some progress over the last months, but recently we have seen an increased number of violations of the ceasefire. And there is a real risk of a resumption of violence. Ukraine still does not have full control over its border, Russia has still not withdrawn its troops or equipment. Illegal groups have not been disarmed. So it is really vital to make sure that all sides keep their commitments, and Russia bears a special responsibility. 

Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine

President of the Russian Federation today said in public there are Russian troops in Ukraine.  

We discussed next steps in NATO-Ukraine cooperation, as well as holding the NATO Summit in Warsaw in July 2016. I informed the Secretary General about the results of my negotiations on on this topic with Polish president. I confirmed that the Ukrainian side is ready to participate in NATO-organized events in 2016.

I am convinced that upon the adoption of the roadmap of defense and technological cooperation, which was signed during this visit, we will considerably enhance the format of assistance. In the near future, within the development of our agreements we are planning to sign several more documents, which seek to build up Ukraine's defense capability.  

The goal – my personal and Ukraine’s – is to ensure full compatibility of standards of the Ukrainian army and NATO Armed Forces by 2020. This is one of the provisions of the roadmap, which I put into the military doctrine. The document was approved by the National Security and Defense Council.   

I’m sure we will consecutively implement these reforms. An important goal of ours is to complete a set of domestic political and defense reforms in order to meet the NATO criteria.  

Our today’s meetings at the NATO Headquarters and at the Special Operations Centre are a good sign that Ukraine-NATO relations are currently at the high level.

Related: Poroshenko meets Breedlove in Belgium, discusses NATO-Ukraine cooperation

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