NATO united and resolute in its determination: support for Ukraine, pressure on Putin and prepared to defend treaty area
The pressure on President Putin of Russia to stop the war in Ukraine remains high. The war was the reason for this extraordinary NATO summit in Brussels, the second since 16 March and the first time that leaders met in person. The Netherlands’ Minister of Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs attended the summit, along with Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
It is clear that the members of the Alliance are still standing strong together. Following the meeting, Minister of Defence Kasja Ollongren said that agreement had been reached on the further reinforcement of the eastern flank.
In a joint statement, the heads of state and leaders of government of the 30 NATO allies called Russia's aggression against Ukraine the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades. “Russia's war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and is causing enormous human suffering and destruction.”
According to NATO, Ukrainians have inspired the world with heroic resistance to Russia's brutal war of conquest. The alliance stated its intention to work with the rest of the international community to hold accountable those responsible for violations of humanitarian and international law, including war crimes.
The NATO partners stated: “We stand in full solidarity with President Zelenskyy, the government of Ukraine and with the brave Ukrainian citizens who are defending their homeland. We honour all those killed, injured, and displaced by Russia’s aggression, as well as their families. We reaffirm our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders extending to its territorial waters.”
Ukraine has the fundamental right to self-defence. Since 2014, NATO has provided support to Ukraine's ability to exercise that right. NATO allies have trained Ukraine's armed forces, strengthened their military capabilities and enhanced their resilience. NATO allies have stepped up their support and will continue to provide further political and practical support to Ukraine as it continues to defend itself. Allies will also continue to provide assistance in such areas as cybersecurity and protection against threats of a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear nature.
“We are united in our resolve to counter Russia’s attempts to destroy the foundations of international security and stability. We are holding Russia and Belarus to account,” the statement reads. In the statement, NATO also calls on all states, including the People's Republic of China, to uphold the international order including the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, as enshrined in the UN Charter. The alliance calls on states “to abstain from supporting Russia’s war effort in any way, and to refrain from any action that helps Russia circumvent sanctions.”
NATO said it will continue to take all necessary steps to protect and defend the security of allied populations and every inch of allied territory. “Our commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is iron-clad.”