19:12 Jul. 9, 2016
NATO members "stand united in support for Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity"
Stable Ukraine is a guaranty for the security of the entire Euro-Atlantic area. NATO stands united in its support for Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
This is the key message voiced by the heads of state and government of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, who met on June 9 in Warsaw.
"Sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security […]We stand united in our support for Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and its inherent right to decide its own future and foreign policy course free from outside interference, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act," says the joint statement published by the NATO press office.
The document goes on to say that the Alliance condemns Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine, undermining the country's sovereignty, integrity and security:
"Russia continues to foment a persistent state of instability in eastern Ukraine, which has led to the loss of nearly 10,000 lives in the Donbas and deprived Ukraine of a considerable part of its economic output. We are particularly concerned by the increase in ceasefire violations along the line of contact primarily by Russian-backed militants. This does not create an environment conducive to the peaceful settlement of the conflict," the statement says.
NATO leaders reminded Russia that according to the Minsk Agreements, an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine had to be implemented back in February 2015, but still Russian-backed militants are violating the truce on daily basis.
The heads of state and government also demanded that Russia "reversed its illegal and illegitimate self-declared annexation of the Crimean peninsula," and stopped the harassment and discrimination of the Crimean Tatars.
Allies also commended the efforts of the President of Ukraine aimed at a peaceful settlement of the conflict, as well as country's progress in implementing reforms despite difficult circumstances.
NATO said it looked forward to further steps to develop Ukraine's democratic institutions and to implement economic reforms.
"There have been achievements, in particular with regard to macroeconomic stabilization, police and defence reform, and public procurement. Important steps were also taken towards decentralization, the reform of the judiciary, the fight against corruption and in maintaining IMF conditionality," the statement said.