NATO will show support for Ukraine at Brussels summit, Western envoys say in Kyiv – Kyiv Post

09:40, 11 July 2018
Politics
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Photo from UNIAN

At the NATO summit, starting in Brussels on July 11, the 29-nation alliance is expected prove unity of the Euro-Atlantic collective defense system and commitment to continue supporting Ukraine's struggle against Russian aggression, Western envoys asserted in Kyiv on July 10 during the discussion "What to expect from the 2018 NATO summit."

Hosted by Open Ukraine Foundation, established by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the discussion gathered U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Canadian Ambassador Roman Washchuk, and director of the NATO Liaison Office in Kyiv Alexander Vinnikov, Kyiv Post reported.

"The thing for this summit in Brussels is to demonstrate NATO's strength, unity, and resolve," Yovanovitch said.

The ambassador's allegations were voiced against the backdrop of U.S. President Donald J. Trump's controversial claims challenging America's obligations towards the NATO allies in Europe, and his repeatedly voiced intentions to improve ties with the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Read alsoU.S. Envoy to NATO says Putin no "fine man," reiterates support of Ukraine's sovereignty

The two leaders are expected to have a new rendezvous in Helsinki on July 16.

Nevertheless, Yovanovitch said, the deterrence of Russia's aggression by the alliance will also be among the key topics of the July 11 summit.

"The efforts of Russia to divide our democratic nations, the effort to continue this hybrid war that we see in many different ways in many different countries is something that we want to hear a lot about tomorrow," the ambassador added.

Vinnikov said the forthcoming summit will concentrate on more practical issues.

"NATO remains committed to fulfilling its three main tasks: collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security," the official said. "At the summit, the alliance will make important decisions to further boost security in and around Europe, focusing on four priorities: firstly, the strengthened security and defense. Secondly, projecting stability and fighting terrorism. Thirdly, modernizing the Alliance and achieving fearer burden sharing. And fourthly, enhancing NATO's cooperation with the European Union."

Since 2014, the NATO has deployed an enhanced multinational force in the Baltic countries and Poland to deter a further expansion of Russia in this region, thus tripling the size of the alliance response forces to 40,000 troops, Vinnikov added.

Read alsoCanada's Ambassador: NATO unready to commence membership talks with Ukraine

"At this time, we will go further and we will announce the three Cs – more cash, more capabilities, and more contributions to NATO missions and operations," he said. "The Alliance will also decide on the new NATO command structure, with two new commands in Germany and in Norfolk, Virginia, the United States, to improve the alliance's ability to improve the supply of reinforcements."

As Vinnikov noted, Ukraine and Georgia will be invited to discuss their progress in security and defense reforms and their cooperation with the Brussels, during which the Alliance would repeatedly express its support of Ukraine's territorial integrity and its non-recognition of Russia's annexation of Crimea.

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