“NATO will continue to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We remain vigilant and continue to monitor the situation very closely,” said a NATO spokesman for “Welt” according to the preliminary report. Russia’s destabilizing measures would undermine all efforts to de-escalate tensions under the OSCE-brokered ceasefire agreement of mid-2020.
Allies worry together
The allies had already met on April 1 in a group of 30 NATO ambassadors to exchange views on the current security environment on the Black Sea, the spokesman said. “The Allies share concern about Russia’s large-scale military activities in and around Ukraine.” It was also concerned that four Ukrainian soldiers were killed after Russia violated the ceasefire agreement last week.
Broad support for Ukraine
US President Joe Biden sided with the government in Kiev on Friday after Russian troop movements on the border with Ukraine. The EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell also expressed concern on Sunday after a phone call with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on the online service Twitter and assured Kiev of “steadfast EU support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”. Germany and France, who are trying to find a solution to the Ukraine conflict within the framework of the so-called Normandy format, made similar statements.
More than 13,000 people were killed in the conflict over eastern Ukraine, which has been going on since 2014. In July of last year, the conflicting parties agreed on a ceasefire. Since mid-February, however, there has been increased fighting that undermines the already fragile ceasefire. Moscow and Kiev blame each other for this.
fab/fw (rtr, afp)