NATO Secretary says alliance fully behind Ukraine in escalation with Russia

Stoltenberg urged for calm

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the military alliance fully backed Ukraine after an incident in the Black Sea which ended with Russia seizing Ukrainian naval ships and arresting all sailors on Sunday.

The NATO Secretary had an extra-ordinary meeting with a Ukrainian commission, after speaking to President Petro Poroshenko in the morning.
“And at this meeting, all allies expressed their full support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” he said in the press conference that followed.

Mr Stoltenberg continued by calling on Russia to “ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports and allow freedom of navigation for Ukraine in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.”, adding there was no justification for the use of military force against Ukraine. ” And we call for calm and restraint.” he underlined.
“Since 2014, all Allies have condemned Russia’s aggressive actions in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.”
“Allies will not recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea.” the NATO secretary said.
“NATO continues to provide political and practical support to Ukraine and the people of Ukraine,” he said.