REUTERS

Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have expressed readiness to further boost practical support to Ukraine and Georgia.

That's according to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who spoke at an online press conference following a foreign ministers' meeting held via video conference on December 1-2, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

The foreign ministers of Ukraine and Georgia have joined the ministerial addressing the security situation in the Black Sea region, which Stoltenberg said was of "strategic importance."

"Russia continues to violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and Ukraine. It continues its military build-up in Crimea. And increasingly deploys forces in the Black sea region," said the secretary general.

NATO is responding, Stoltenberg added, "by strengthening our presence on land, at sea and in the air."

He spoke of NATO warship calling at these countries' ports, as well as the growing number of joint drills carried out, and the strengthening of defense capabilities.

NATO is helping Ukraine and Georgia beef up their defense institutions, according to Stoltenberg.

"Today, we restated our support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and Ukraine," Stoltenberg said, adding that the countries' reform agendas have been discussed.

The Alliance has called for member states to also provide bilateral support to Ukraine and Georgia.

"And today the message was very clear – that Allies are ready to further step up in different areas providing more practical support," the secretary general concluded.

In a tweet, Ukraine's top diplomat Dmytro Kuleba has praised NATO's commitment to boost cooperation in the Black Sea region.

Ukraine and NATO: Other reports