NATO Secretary General Calls On Russia To Stop Destabilizing Ukraine

jensNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met briefly with reporters today at the EU Foreign Affairs Council and urged Russia to pull back its forces from the sovereign nation of Ukraine and stop destabilizing the country.

As fears mount that the Minsk ceasefire agreement signed in September is falling apart, NATO accuses Russia of supporting the armed separatists who seized control over parts of eastern Ukraine in April and continue to fight Ukrainian military forces.

“We call on Russia to pull back its forces, to respect the Minsk agreement and stop fuelling the conflict in Ukraine by supporting the separatists,” Stoltenberg said.

Admitting that the crisis in eastern Ukraine was caused by actions taken by Russia, the NATO leader said that Russia has a hard choice to make to end the 7 month armed conflict.

“Russia has a choice. It can either be part of a peaceful, negotiated solution, or Russia can continue on the path of isolation,” Stoltenberg added.

Stoltenberg concluded by stating that NATO and the EU fully support the sovereignty territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Yesterday NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, and said that Georgia is continuing on its path towards integration with NATO.

Stoltenberg spoke about strengthening the defense capabilities of Georgia and establishing a Joint Georgian NATO Exercise Training Centre.

In the occupied region of Abkhazia, a recent military agreement was signed with Moscow and fears linger that Russian troops could attempt to gain greater control of the region that witnessed military conflict in 2008 and was once part of the Soviet Union.

The armed conflict in 2008 was focused on South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two “breakaway provinces” in Georgia that are supported by Russia.

-Johnathan Schweitzer

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