NATO Foreign Ministers agreed a package of measures to improve situational awareness in the Black Sea region and strengthen support for partners Georgia and Ukraine.
Ministers also reiterated their call on Russia to release the Ukrainian sailors and ships seized near the Sea of Azov.
Earlier, Ministers addressed Russia’s continuing violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. They called on Russia again to return to full and verifiable compliance with the Treaty, and discussed the way forward.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said:
“We will not mirror what Russia is doing. We will be measured and coordinated. And we have no intention of deploying ground-launched nuclear missiles in Europe. At the same time, NATO will continue to maintain credible and effective deterrence and defence.
And all Allies are strongly committed to arms control and non-proliferation. Russia’s ongoing violation of the INF Treaty is a pattern of destabilising behaviour. Russia used force to illegally annex Crimea from Ukraine. And continues its military build-up across the region.
We call on Russia to release the Ukrainian sailors and ships it seized last year near the Sea of Azov. And we discussed what more we can do to enhance our security in the Black Sea region.
We agreed a package of measures to improve our situational awareness. And to step up our support for both Georgia and Ukraine. In areas such as the training of maritime forces and coast guards. Port visits and exercises. And sharing information.
This will build on our already close cooperation.
Right now, one of NATO’s naval groups is on patrol in the Black Sea. And today, it is exercising with Ukrainian and Georgian ships. So we will maintain our focus, and our presence in this vital region.”
Read the NATO Secretary General’s press conference here