Kyiv Security Forum

Alexander Vershbow: NATO condemns and will never agree with the occupation of the Crimea

14 April 2016, 14:46

“NATO condemns and will never agree with the occupation of the Crimea,” – said NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow at the 9th Kyiv Security Forum, organized by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation.

“40 years ago the Helsinki Final Act laid the principles of the relations between East and West. Since then the principles have been underlying the security architecture of Europe. At first, Russia supported them, but today, with the annexation of the Crimea and military aggression in Eastern Ukraine, it decided to violate them. NATO condemns such actions and will never agree with them. Moreover, the Alliance will not cooperate with Russia until it withdraws from the Donbas and returns the Crimea to Ukraine,” – said the Deputy Secretary-General of NATO.

“Today the situation in Ukraine is very complicated. The Crimean Tatars are subject to persecution and repression. Russia and its’ minions are constantly violating ceasefire regime in the Donbas. Therefore, the international community must constantly put pressure on it to ensure that it fully complies with the requirements set out in the Minsk Agreements. And if it does not, this pressure will continue”, - said Alexander Vershbow.

At the same time, he said that despite the fact that the Russian occupation of the Crimea was a disaster for European security architecture and the military aggression in eastern Ukraine was not a surprise (as even then in Georgia there were preconditions for this).

However, the Deputy Secretary General believes that in three years after the aggression, there will be a possibility for Ukraine to move forward. He stressed that that the country should conduct deep reforms, particularly in the defense sector. Furthermore, it is necessary to continue the fight against corruption and demand the rule of law. NATO, in its’ turn, is supporting and will continue supporting Ukraine in all ways possible, both as the organization and at the bilateral level.


The annual international event Kyiv Security Forum launched by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation Open Ukraine in 2007 is a platform for debate on the most pressing security issues in Europe and the Black Sea Region. 

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