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Foreign Minister Sven Mikser: NATO Allies united in support of Ukraine and Georgia

4. December 2018 - 19:28

Today, on the first day of NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Brussels, the Alliance’s cooperation with Georgia and Ukraine was discussed, as well as the political situation in the Black Sea region and transatlantic security.

NATO Allies reaffirmed support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both Ukraine and Georgia, and continued to offer assistance in developing the partners’ security capabilities. Foreign Minister Sven Mikser said that NATO Allies share the same understanding that Russia has violated international law, including the core principles of European security, by illegally annexing Crimea and using military force against Ukraine and Georgia. Such aggressive behaviour by Russia is a threat against the whole Black Sea region.

Mikser emphasised in his statement that NATO’s political response to Russia’s activities in the Sea of Azov was rapid, but it is also necessary to think about steps ahead. It is important to understand that by escalating the situation, Russia has followed a certain pattern. “The Kerch Strait attack was not an isolated incident, it was a part of a long-term operation to extend Russia’s area of influence,” he said.

Speaking about transatlantic security, Mikser emphasised that NATO must keep to its commitments, principles and values. “Keeping the promise to increase defence spending is one the most important steps in maintaining a strong transatlantic bond,” he said.

NATO Foreign Ministers also made a joint statement regarding the INF Treaty. NATO Allies agree with the assessment of the US that Russia has in recent years violated the treaty by developing weapons banned by it.

“In the interests of international security and stability it is especially important to respect the agreements made. Russia has clearly violated the treaty and it is not sustainable when only the US respects it,” the minister said. “Russian violations of the INF Treaty are just one example of how Russia wants to withdraw from its international commitments. We as NATO Allies must continue to make it clear that violations do not erase rules and such behaviour has consequences,” Mikser added.

The first day of NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting will end with a dinner where the topic of NATO’s Southern neighbourhood will be discussed, for example NATO’s role in fighting terrorism and projecting stability, including possible assistance to Libya, and developments in Iraq.

Photos: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/photos_161130.htm

Additional information:
Inga Bowden
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Director General, Communication Department
inga.bowden@mfa.ee
+372 528 1467

Sent by:
Britta Tarvis
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Media Adviser, Communication Department
britta.tarvis@mfa.ee

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