NATO members issue joint statement after leaders’ summit

by Anadolu Agency


NATO said Thursday that it will now accelerate its transformation for “a more dangerous strategic reality.”

The military alliance issued a joint statement following the Extraordinary Summit of NATO Heads of State and Government in Brussels, Belgium.

“Russia’s war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and is causing enormous human suffering and destruction,” it said.

The statement stressed that Russia’s war on Ukraine is condemned in the strongest possible terms.

“We call on (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin to immediately stop this war and withdraw military forces from Ukraine, and call on Belarus to end its complicity, in line with the Aggression Against Ukraine Resolution adopted at the UN General Assembly of 2 March 2022,” it said.

It said Russia should comply with the March 16 ruling by the UN International Court of Justice and immediately stop military operations, underlining that Russia’s war on Ukraine threatens global security and its attack on international norms makes the world less safe.

It noted that “President Putin’s escalatory rhetoric is irresponsible and destabilizing.”

The statement underlined that Ukrainians inspired the world with resistance to Russia’s war.

“We strongly condemn Russia’s devastating attacks on civilians, including women, children and persons in vulnerable situations. We will work with the rest of the international community to hold accountable those responsible for violations of humanitarian and international law, including war crimes.”

-Call for humanitarian aid

Deeply concerned over the increased risk of sexual violence and human trafficking, the statement called on Moscow to allow rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access and safe passage for civilians and for humanitarian aid to be delivered to Mariupol and other besieged cities.

It also condemed attacks against civilian infrastructure, including those endangering nuclear power plants.

“We will continue to counter Russia’s lies about its attack on Ukraine and expose fabricated narratives or manufactured ‘false flag’ operations to prepare the ground for further escalation, including against the civilian population of Ukraine. Any use by Russia of a chemical or biological weapon would be unacceptable and result in severe consequences.”

It said Russia needs to show that it is serious about negotiations by immediately implementing a cease-fire, expressing support for Ukraine’s efforts to achieve peace and those undertaken diplomatically by allies to weigh in on Russia to end the war and relieve human suffering.

Noting that Ukraine has a fundamental right to self-defense under the UN Charter, it underlined the extensive support which NATO has provided since 2014 to Ukraine’s ability to exercise that right.

“We reaffirm our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders extending to its territorial waters,” it said.

It stated that NATO will continue to provide further political and practical support to Ukraine.

“NATO Allies will also continue to provide assistance in such areas as cybersecurity and protection against threats of a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear nature.”

It noted that NATO foreign ministers will discuss further support to Ukraine when they meet next month, highlighting that NATO members are united in their resolve to counter Russia’s attempts to destroy the foundations of international security and stability.

“Massive sanctions and heavy political costs have been imposed on Russia in order to bring an end to this war. We remain determined to maintain coordinated international pressure on Russia,” it said.


Call for China

The statement also called on all states, including China, to abstain from supporting Russia’s war effort in any way and to refrain from any action that helps Russia circumvent sanctions.

It said NATO is concerned by recent public comments by Chinese officials, calling on Beijing to promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

“We reaffirm our commitment to NATO’s Open Door Policy under Article 10 of the Washington Treaty,” it said.

-Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia

In response to Russia’s actions, NATO has activated its defense plans, deployed elements of the NATO Response Force and placed 40,000 troops on its eastern flank, along with significant air and naval assets, under direct NATO command supported by Allies’ national deployments, it said.

NATO is also establishing four additional multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, it added.

“We will now accelerate NATO’s transformation for a more dangerous strategic reality, including through the adoption of the next Strategic Concept in Madrid. In light of the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades, we will also significantly strengthen our longer term deterrence and defense posture and will further develop the full range of ready forces and capabilities necessary to maintain credible deterrence and defense.”

It said these steps will be supported by enhanced exercises, adding: “We are increasing the resilience of our societies and our infrastructure to counter Russia’s malign influence. We are enhancing our cyber capabilities and defenses and providing support to each other in the event of cyberattacks.”

It also noted that NATO will enhance its preparedness and readiness for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats and take further decisions when meeting in Madrid.

Russia’s war against Ukraine represents a fundamental challenge to the values and norms that have brought security and prosperity to all on the European continent, it said.

“President Putin’s choice to attack Ukraine is a strategic mistake, with grave consequences also for Russia and the Russian people. We remain united and resolute in our determination to oppose Russia’s aggression, aid the government and the people of Ukraine, and defend the security of all Allies.”

You may also like