Speech by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko at the session of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine with participation of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (Auszüge, 22.09.2015)
Distinguished Mr. Secretary General!
Dear members of the National Security and Defense Council!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Today’s session of the National Security and Defense Council has a historic character—for the first time, a great friend of Ukraine, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is taking part in it. I am pleased to welcome you, Mr. Stoltenberg. (…)
First of all, we must remember that our session is held in the midst of the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine, which has been implemented through the armed annexation of Crimea and aggression in the east of our state. Thus, against the backdrop of this aggression, NATO-Ukraine cooperation is not a secondary, but strategic issue for Ukraine, NATO and global security.
I emphasize once again—it goes far beyond national and regional character, because unprecedented violation of regulations and principles of the international law by Russia makes Ukraine-NATO cooperation an exclusively strategic issue for both parties.
Ukraine is not a NATO member now. Unfortunately, we are not allies de jure. Yet, de facto we are more than just partners. Efficient cooperation between Ukraine and NATO has enormous prospects.
Ukraine is the eastern outpost of Euro-Atlantic civilization, which is now defending not only sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of our country. Ukraine is currently fighting for freedom and democracy in the region and the world. It is fighting for the right of the Ukrainian people to choose its civilizational path. We will not let anyone from outside the country try to influence this process. It is solely the right of the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government and we have made a choice towards European values and European civilizational development during the Revolution of dignity.
I have no doubt that the security sector of Ukraine reformed on the basis of NATO standards will become not only a substantial factor of national security of our state, but also a precondition for reinforced European security and stability.
For today, only common security space and collective guarantees can secure the state from external encroachment and pathological revanchist-imperial ambitions of irresponsible international actors. The absence of responsibility is demonstrated not only by the actions on the Ukrainian theater of operations, but also by the participation of Russia in the military conflict in Syria and other regions.
Unfortunately, we have to confront these ambitions that started in the form of annexation of Crimea and defiant aggression in February 2014.
Today, in the course of the closed part of the session, we will demonstrate convincing and irrefutable evidence of participation of Russian regular troops in the aggression against Ukraine in the east.
Tragic developments that killed about 8000 Ukrainians—both civilians and Ukrainian heroes who defended their Homeland, unfortunately, showed new security realities. These realities mean that the UN Charter is no more effective and the post-war security system that has been acting for almost 70 years, has been ruined by irresponsible actions of the Russian aggressor. The Budapest Memorandum, which was signed in 1994, in the course of the voluntary nuclear disarmament by Ukraine, doesn’t impose any obligations and the decision on the policy of non-alignment made by the previous government was simply criminal in relation to security and strategic interests of our state, when the armed forces were destroyed and the entire security and defense sector was put at the mercy of the occupants.
This dreadful mistake was corrected: one of the first decisions of the newly elected Parliament was the abolition of the non-alignment status. The Verkhovna Rada endorsed my respective initiative.
Euro-Atlantic integration course has already been enshrined in the National Security Strategy adopted by you, dear members of the National Security and Defense Council, and the Military Doctrine, adopted at the previous NSDC session. Respective provisions will also be included in other strategic documents that are currently being drafted. Euro-Atlantic choice with prospect of NATO membership is being increasingly supported by the Ukrainian society. It is very important. I would like to remind you, dear Mr. Secretary General, that two years ago 16% of Ukrainians supported the Euro-Atlantic integration course. A year ago, this figure equaled almost 50%. Now, over 60% of Ukrainians support Euro-Atlantic integration. It means that the Ukrainian nation supports the Euro-Atlantic choice. When we ensure all conditions for the compliance of Ukraine with NATO membership criteria through the reformation of the country, I will initiate a national referendum and, thus, the will of the Ukrainian people will be fixed.
It is a great pleasure that the lack of public support is no longer an obstacle for the prospect of membership.
It is shameful to remember the Ukrainian army a little bit over a year ago. Today, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are among the strongest on the continent after the reform, reinforcement and acquisition of combat experience.
Our nearest goal is to make the Ukrainian army more efficient and combat ready due to cooperation with NATO. Because the threat of Russian invasion hasn’t disappeared. Unfortunately, we will have to live with it for many years. Neither Ukraine, nor European states, especially from the former socialist group, will have calm years in the nearest future.
Thus, rapid and efficient enhancement of defense capability of Ukraine today is a guarantee of security both for our country and the entire Euro-Atlantic area.
Supporting Ukraine, NATO strengthens its positions on the eastern border. Investing in Ukraine, in its security sector, they do not spend money for the assistance to other countries, but invest in their security sector. It is extremely important that citizens of NATO member-states understand that very well.
For today, task 1 for Ukraine in interaction with NATO is to achieve full interoperability of the AFU with NATO forces. The achievement of criteria necessary for membership in the EU and NATO are the top priority for the Ukrainian authorities, let alone 99% of them are similar.
The given work has already been started. Ukraine conducts intensive reforms of all sectors, including national security and defense. NATO standards are the landmark of these transformations for us.
It is very important that NATO countries are directly involved in this process. Over the years of our partnership we didn’t have such a level of interaction, trust, common responsibility and determination to achieve the result.
Today, we will also discuss the issues of strategic communication, confronting Russian aggressive propaganda not only in Ukraine, but also in all NATO member-states, development of efficient cooperation in military-technical sphere, exchange of intelligence data with NATO and other issues that will increase the defense capacity of both Ukraine and NATO. (…)
Remarks by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (22.09.2015)
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honour to meet Ukraine´s National Security and Defence Council today. This council plays a key role in upholding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. I´m looking forward to our discussions today.
Ukraine and NATO have been Partners for almost 20 years. I am proud of everything we have achieved together. Ukrainian troops have worked alongside their NATO colleagues in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
Ukraine has contributed ships to our counter-piracy and counter-terrorism operations. And Ukraine participates in the NATO Response Force.
Only yesterday, President Poroshenko and I opened the ‘Ukraine 2015’ exercise to practice disaster response. Ensuring our people are protected from natural as well as man-made disasters. It is clear that NATO can rely on Ukraine.
Today, the Ukrainian people are facing their greatest challenge. There is conflict on Ukrainian soil. Russia has illegally annexed Crimea. An act we will never accept. And Russia continues to support the separatist forces in the east with weapons, command-and-control and troops. This is a violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and it undermines the international rules-based order.
In these difficult times, Ukraine can rely on NATO. NATO provides Ukraine with political and practical support. We support your independence and your territorial integrity. And we support the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. This remains the only way out of the crisis. Ukraine has had to make some difficult political decisions. Particularly on the status of certain parts of eastern Ukraine.
But it shows that Kyiv is sticking to its Minsk commitments. It is important that you continue on this path. The full implementation of the Minsk agreements by all parties is a prerequisite for peace and for Ukraine to restore sovereign control of its own boarder. I commend you all that you have done.
Your efforts, the fact that the ceasefire is mainly holding, and renewed attempts to find a political solution, are encouraging.
The onus is now on Moscow and the separatists to respect their Minsk commitments. To fully respect the ceasefire. To withdraw their heavy weapons. And to grant OSCE monitors full access. Any parallel local ‘elections’ that are not fully compliant with Ukrainian law would put the Minsk agreement at risk.
NATO also provides Ukraine with practical support. NATO’s five Trust Funds, in areas like command and control, cyber defence, and medical rehabilitation, can make a significant difference.
Our advisors are working with the Ministry of Defence, the General Staff, the National Guard, and others.
Helping Ukraine to more effectively defend itself.
In addition, many NATO Allies are supplying equipment and helping with military and police training.
NATO and Ukraine have a stronger, more focused, more substantive partnership than ever before.
Together, we can preserve our vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace.
Auszüge aus der Rede Poroschenkos bei der gemeinsamen Pressekonferenz mit NATO-Generalsekretär Jens Stoltenberg (22.09.2015)
Über die unterzeichneten Unterlagen
(…) We are receiving the considerable support of NATO partners in solving the most urgent issues in the area of our defence capability. We highly appreciate Secretary General, your readiness to give and enhance our cooperation. After today’s meeting we have signed three most important documents which create a qualitively new parameters of our cooperation as North Atlantic Alliance.
The first one is the agreement between NATO and the Government of Ukraine on the stages of the NATO representation to Ukraine and this is a very bright demonstration on our respect to NATO and our mutual trust and respect.
The second document signed today is the road map on strategic communications partnership between National Security Defence Council and NATO International Secretariat which will be a very important factor in our counter action to Russia’s aggression.
We also signed a thoroughly prepared joint declaration on enhancing our defence technical cooperation with NATO which also means some practical steps for NATO countries and Alliance as a whole in the area of our cooperation and I would emphasize Ukraine now needs not lethal weapons but new potential, new capabilities to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity and independence of our country. (…)
Über die Entwicklung der Sicherheitspolitik der Ukraine in den letzten eineinhalb Jahren
(…) 17 months ago we appeared in front of the annexation of the Crimea and military aggression on the east of my country without army, without weapons, without effective form of the cooperation with our strategic partners and NATO member states and that was the most difficult time for my country, maybe the most difficult in the whole history. And for this 17 or 16 months we go past very big distance (…) But for these months we build up a new very effective army, brave and decisive, we build up the national military technical conflicts and increase four, five times the capability for our national opportunities to deliver the armed weapons, tanks, multi rocket launch system and different others. But that was the war of my country with the weapons of 20th century against a country who has 40 time more military budget that we are, which most modern samples of the weapon were sent to Ukraine. (…)
And for this 17 months we now have opportunity to share the information with our NATO member state partner to supply some defensive weapons already, I mean some drones, some counter battery radar, some radar, some weapons for the electronic warfare. I want to attract your attention, this is not a lethal weapon, this is a defensive electronic weapon which we do not produce but the action of our defensive capabilities is rising.
Quelle: Joint press point with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, <http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_122739.htm>