Stoltenberg speaks of goals of North Atlantic Council’s visit to Ukraine
The upcoming visit of the North Atlantic Council to Ukraine will mark the 20th anniversary of the Distinctive Partnership between the Alliance and Kyiv, that’s according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who will lead the delegation and spoke with UNIAN ahead of the visit.
As reported earlier, the NAC will visit Ukraine July 9-10, where the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission will be held with the participation of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who leads the Bloc’s delegation.
Answering an UNIAN’s question on goals of the visit he sees for himself as secretary general and the NAC as a whole, Stoltenberg said: “I want to mark the 20th anniversary of our Distinctive Partnership which is an important milestone in an excellent and very strong partnership NATO and Ukraine have developed together. This is also the 20th anniversary of NATO-Ukraine Commission which is a united body, binding and connecting Ukraine and NATO very close together, and which has been a framework platform for developing cooperation.”
The secretary general said that the Allies “welcome strongly Ukraine’s support to NATO.” “Ukraine has participated in all NATO missions and operations in Afghanistan, in Kosovo, in the Mediterranean, and many other places,” he elaborated. On a separate account, he said the Allies “also appreciate very much that we work together in responding to Russia illegally annexing Crimea, destabilising the east of Ukraine.” “We have a lot to learn from each other when it comes to hybrid and cyber warfare which we have seen taking place in Ukraine, and then of course NATO provides support to Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.
Read alsoU.S. Secretary of State Tillerson to visit Ukraine on July 9 – mediaAt the same time, the NATO chief stressed the Alliance’s support to Ukraine. “We have ten trust funds, which have allocated almost EUR 40 million for different activities… On top of that, NATO strongly encourages bilateral cooperation between NATO Allies and Ukraine,” said the NATO secretary general.
Commenting on the fact that the NAC visited Ukraine eight years ago, Stoltenberg noted multiple contacts with the Ukrainian side at various levels.
“NATO has visited Ukraine many-many times for the last eight years. There are regular visits of NATO officials. Just a couple of days ago we had assistant Secretary General [Sorin Ducaru] there. Deputy Secretary General [Rose Gottemoeller] visited not so long time ago, I had visited, and there are 50 NATO officials working in Ukraine with different trust funds, different programs,” Jens Stoltenberg said.
Read alsoNATO boosts cooperation with Ukraine on scientific and security-related activitiesHe added that “the whole NAC going [for a visit abroad] is something we do very seldom. It is a big event that happened quite seldom and therefore it was eight years since it happened but it does not mean that there have not been many meetings over the last years.”