NATO Assistant Secretary General: Russia’s aggression in Crimea is the greatest crisis since the days the Berlin Wall crumbled
Colinda Grabar-Kitarović, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Croatia (2008-2011), underlines the Alliance’s full support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, as she stated in the course of the 7th Kyiv Security Forum.
‘Russia’s military aggression in Crimea is the greatest crisis since the days the Berlin Wall crumbled. Unlawful annexation of the Ukrainian territory is a gross violation of Russia’s international obligations’, the NATO Assistant Secretary emphasized.
‘As far as NATO is concerned, we believe that annexation of Crimea is not an irreversible process. A way for Russia is to withdraw its troops to permanent basing points and reduce their strength in the Ukrainian territory to the pre-crisis level’, Grabar-Kitarović said. She reminded that NATO condemned Russia’s military aggression and backs up Ukraine’s sovereignty.
As the NATO Assistant Secretary pointed out, NATO intensified its cooperation with Ukraine in recent weeks; in particular, a decision to hold joint military exercises was made. Besides, experts assisting to secure protection of key state facilities have been sent to Ukraine.
In the opinion of Colinda Grabar-Kitarović, a few lessons should be learned from the situation around Crimea. ‘The first lesson is that the security system in Europe should be strengthened rather than cutting military budgets of the NATO Member States’. The second lesson for the Alliance, according to her, is that it should have good external relations with non-members. The open-door policy should be deepened and continued, and the Alliance should ensure that no third force had the right of veto over any country’s accession to NATO.
The Kyiv Security Forum agenda is designed for 2 days and offers six panels open to the media representatives. The agenda can be amended, with amendments posted on the Forum’s website.
A separate area (Press Center) will be organized for the press, with equipped workplaces and Wi-Fi Internet access as well as live broadcast of all the Forum panels. In addition, a specially equipped area in the session hall will be reserved for journalists.
The organizers are ready to help arrange individual interviews with and comments from the Forum speakers on advance notice.
The Kyiv Security Forum annual international event, initiated by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation in 2007, is a platform for debates on the most pressing security issues in Europe and the Black Sea region. The Forum’s mission is to increase security cooperation between the European Union and the Black Sea region, raise awareness about security development among key players, and promote the role of independent and non-governmental actors in setting the security agenda in Europe.
The event is supported by the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation, the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine, and the Chatham House Royal Institute of International Relations (UK).
For information on the project visit http://ksf.openukraine.org/
The Open Ukraine Foundation is an international charitable foundation established at the initiative of Arseniy Yatsenyuk for strengthening public diplomacy and developing Ukraine’s reputation in the world. The Foundation achieves its goal by implementing the key programs: International Dialogue, Cultural Horizons, and Young Leaders. The Foundation is an organization of a broad circle of charity providers and unites around itself any people who care for Ukraine’s reputation and future.
For more details about the Foundation visit http://openukraine.org.