Closer to Ukraine: Stoltenberg talks about NATO's concept to be adopted in Madrid
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this at a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Brussels on Thursday, December 16, answering a question from Ukrinform.
"We have just started the process of developing and agreeing on the new Strategic Concept, and it's too early to pre-empt any conclusions, but I believe that in the new Strategic Concept we will express very strong support to the idea of NATO working closely with partners, including with Ukraine. I also expect that our Allies will clearly recommit to the principle of every sovereign nation's right to choose its own path, that Ukraine has the right to choose its own path, including what kind of security arrangements it wants to be part of," he said.
Stoltenberg stressed that the need to develop NATO's new Strategic Concept is due to the fact that ten years since the adoption of the previous strategic document, the world has fundamentally changed.
"One of the things that has changed is the behavior of Russia. In the current Strategic Concept, we refer to Russia as a strategic partner. But since then, we have seen more aggressive actions by Russia, we have seen Russia invading neighbors, we have seen Russia illegally annexing Crimea, and it continues to destabilize eastern Ukraine. These changes have to be reflected in the new Strategic Concept," Stoltenberg said.
Zelensky paid a two-day visit to Brussels. On December 15, he took part in the Eastern Partnership summit and held a series of bilateral meetings with European leaders and heads of European institutions. On December 16, the Ukrainian delegation held talks at NATO headquarters, to discuss the situation regarding the amassing of Russian troops in the occupied territories of Ukraine and along its borders.
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