So I welcome President Zelenskyy’s commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. NATO will continue to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. NATO and Ukraine have been close partners for many years. And in the past five years, our partnership has only become closer. NATO supports Ukraine’s efforts to reform its defence institutions and its armed forces.”
The full speech can be found here, but here’s an excerpt:
“It is now more than five years since Russia illegally annexed Crimea. An integral part of Ukraine. Russia undermined the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. And it undermined decades of work to bring peace and stability to Europe. NATO will never recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea. All NATO Allies, from Europe and North America, are united in their condemnation of Russia’s actions. We call on Russia to end its support for the militants in the Donbas. Its cyber-attacks and disinformation campaigns.It must withdraw its troops and its forces from eastern Ukraine. And allow OSCE monitors full and unhindered access to the whole of Ukraine. I welcome the release of the captured sailors from the three ships of the Ukrainian navy. They showed great courage and determination in a very difficult situation. Demonstrating the true Ukrainian spirit. Their release is a step in the right direction. But Russia must release all Ukrainian citizens. Return the captured vessels. Allow freedom of navigation. Ensure free access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov in compliance with its international commitments. And the Minsk agreements must be implemented in full by all parties. The conflict in the east has caused more than a million people to flee their homes. And more than 13,000 Ukrainians have been killed. And the toll continues to rise. This suffering must stop.