Norway and NATO Allies agree to further strengthen and sustain support for Ukraine.

For more than three decades, NATO has tried to build a partnership with Russia, developing dialogue and practical cooperation in areas of common interest. Practical cooperation has been suspended since 2014 in response to Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, Ukraine, which NATO will never recognise. Political and military channels of communication remain open. 

Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and disregard for international law pose a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security, and will have geostrategic consequences.

Since the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, NATO has tried to build a partnership and pursue dialogue with Russia, including through the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), a forum for consultation on security issues and cooperation.

However, in response to Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine and illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, NATO suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation with Russia in April 2014. Channels of political and military communication remain open to allow an exchange of information on issues of mutual interest and concern, reduce misunderstandings and increase predictability. Allies remain open to dialogue with Russia through the NRC. 

NATO condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s invasion of Ukraine starting in February 2022, which is entirely unjustified and unprovoked. This is a grave violation of international law and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security.

The Alliance also condemns Russia’s decision to extend recognition to the separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. 

The U.S and NATO Allies urge President Putin to turn back from the path of violence and aggression he has chosen, and to immediately stop the war, withdraw all his forces from Ukraine, and engage in good faith in diplomatic efforts.

While NATO stands by its international commitments, Russia has breached the values, principles and commitments that underpin the NATO-Russia relationship (as outlined in the 1997 Basic Document of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act and the 2002 Rome Declaration). Beyond Ukraine, we see provocative Russian military activities near NATO’s borders stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea; irresponsible and aggressive nuclear rhetoric, military posturing; and hybrid actions, including attempted interference in election processes, widespread disinformation campaigns, coercive manipulation of energy supplies, and malicious cyber activities. 

Russia has broken the trust at the core of our cooperation, and has challenged the fundamental principles of the global and Euro-Atlantic security architecture. NATO’s relationship with Russia has fundamentally changed for the long term. At the same time, the Alliance remains committed to keeping channels for diplomacy and de-confliction open in order to avoid any unintended escalation, misunderstanding or miscalculation.

NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels 6-7 April 2022 agreed to sustain and further strengthen support for Ukraine, and step up cooperation with partners, given the global implications of President Putin’s unprovoked war on Ukraine. 

Allies utterly condemned the horrific murders of civilians they have seen in Bucha and other places recently liberated from Russian control,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said following the meeting. 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thanked NATO Allies for their substantial support. “Allies have been doing a lot, and are determined to do more, now, and for the medium and longer term to help the brave Ukrainians defend their homes and their country, and push back the invading forces,” Mr Stoltenberg said.

Ministers also agreed to step up practical support to other partners at threat of Russian aggression, including Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, to help strengthen their resilience. Allied Foreign Ministers were joined by their counterparts from Ukraine, Georgia, Finland, Sweden, and the European Union, and by NATO’s Asia-Pacific partners, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea. 

NATO will increase its cooperation with Asia-Pacific partners in areas like cyber, new technologies, disinformation, maritime security, climate change, and resilience, because global challenges demand global solutions.

Ministers agreed on NATO’s next Strategic Concept, which will be finalized at the Madrid Summit in June. NATO must also take account of NATO’s future relations with Russia, and China’s growing influence on Allied security. 

Ministers also approved the Charter for a new Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA), including a network of innovation hubs, accelerator sites and tests centers across Europe and North America. 

Foreign Ministers agreed that they must further strengthen and sustain their support to Ukraine. So that Ukraine prevails in the face of Russia’s invasion. They also agreed that they must support other regional partners under pressure. And to step up cooperation with  partners in the Asia-Pacific, because the crisis has global implications. Allies utterly condemned the horrific murders of civilians that they have seen in Bucha and other places recently liberated from Russian control.

All the facts must be established. All those responsible for these atrocities must be brought to justice. And Allies are supporting efforts for an inter- national investigation. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thanked NATO Allies for their substantial support. Allies have been doing a lot. And are determined to do more. Now, and for the medium and longer term.

To help the brave Ukrainians defend their homes and their country, and push back the invading forces. Allies are also supporting and stepping up humanitarian aid and financial support, including cyber-security assistance. And providing equipment to help Ukraine protect against chemical and biological threats. 

What is happening in Ukraine is being closely watched around the world. We have seen that China is unwilling to condemn Russia’s aggression. And Beijing has joined Moscow in questioning the right of nations to choose their own path. This is a serious challenge to us all. And it makes it even more important that we stand together to protect our values. Because global challenges demand global solutions.

Ministers also addressed future relations with Russia. The sanctions introduced by NATO Allies and partners are unprecedented. And they are damaging President Putin’s war machine. There is a need to continue coordinated pressure to help end this senseless war. Ministers agreed that NATO’s next Strategic Concept must deliver a response on how they relate to Russia in the future.

The Kremlin’s unjustified and unconscionable war on Ukrainian citizens is a threat to all peace-loving democracies. At the meeting allies discussed NATO’s new strategic document, which will be agreed on at the NATO summit in Madrid. 

Support for Ukraine increases the chances of Russia wanting a ceasefire, says ex-NATO policy planner.

A senior US defense official told that Ukrainian forces have pushed Russian forces back on the front-lines east of Kyiv. Russian forces are about 55 kilometers (roughly 34 miles) away from Kyiv’s city center to the east, an increase of between 25 and 35 kilometers (roughly 15 to 22 miles) as compared to the same location, the official said. 

NATO will work with our allies to step up military and economic support to Ukraine, strengthening their defenses as they turn the tide in this fight,” he added.“One month into this crisis, the international community faces a choice. We can keep the flame of freedom alive in Ukraine, or risk it being snuffed out across Europe and the world.