Stoltenberg: Despite Russia's criticism, NATO will continue to support Ukraine

Russia’s criticism against NATO for supporting Ukraine is groundless because each independent country has a right to ask the Alliance for help, stated Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg at a press conference in Tbilisi.

“Russia criticizes our support of Ukraine. But Ukraine is an independent state and it asked for support. This is absolutely the legitimate right of every country, to ask for support and receive it. So there is no reason for criticism of the fact that we support a democratic government,” said Stoltenberg.

He recalled that NATO is providing support to Ukraine through a number of trust funds in the fields of logistics, management and reform of the military sector.

“We established a Commission Ukraine-NATO, which is a platform for our political and practical cooperation. But, of course, you can always do more. We work with the Ukrainians [to determine] what kind of support we can provide, policy and practice,” he added.

Stoltenberg noted that one of the biggest achievements of the summit in Warsaw was the fact that NATO formulated its policy towards Russia: a military fortification but also political dialogue.

“In my opinion, there is no contradiction between the strengthening of defense and dialogue. On the contrary, when we are sure of our deterrence forces in defense, then we can engage in political dialogue with Russia. We must engage in dialogue with Russia because it remains our largest neighbor and in order to avoid incidents similar to what happened in Turkey,” said the NATO secretary general.

  NATO, Russia, Ukraine

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