NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Ukraine on Thursday (20 April 2023) for talks with President Zelenskyy and his government. Mr Stoltenberg underlined NATO’s enduring support for Ukraine as it continues to defend itself against Russia’s brutal war of aggression. “NATO stands with you today, tomorrow, and for as long as it takes,” said Mr Stoltenberg.
Joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy
In a press conference with President Zelenskyy in Kyiv, the Secretary General underlined that NATO Allies have delivered more than 150 billion euros of support to Ukraine since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022, and that Allies have provided training for tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers over the years. “Allies are now delivering more jets, tanks, and armoured vehicles, and NATO’s Ukraine fund is providing urgent support… All of this is making a real difference on the battlefield today,” he said.
“Ukraine’s rightful place is in the Euro-Atlantic family. Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO. And over time, our support will help to make this possible,” said the Secretary General. He underlined that a multi-year support initiative will help Ukraine transition from Soviet-era equipment and doctrines to NATO standards, and ensure full interoperability with the Alliance, calling this “a testament to NATO’s long-term commitment to Ukraine.”
He further added: “We do not know when this war will end, but we know that Russian aggression is a toxic pattern that must be stopped. So we must continue strengthening Ukraine’s armed forces. And we must ensure that robust, powerful arrangements are in place for Ukraine’s security.”
While in Ukraine, the Secretary General visited Bucha, and paid his respects to the victims of Russian atrocities. He also laid a wreath at the Wall of Remembrance of the Fallen for Ukraine, paying tribute to all those who have lost lives or suffered wounds in defence of their homeland.
Mr Stoltenberg finished his visit by addressing the International Summit of Communities and Regions alongside President Zelenskyy. In his remarks, the Secretary General praised Ukraine’s work toward post-war reconstruction, saying: “Your determination to fight the aggressor, liberate your land, and work for a brighter future says very clearly to me: Ukraine will prevail.”
This was Mr Stoltenberg’s fourth trip to Ukraine as NATO Secretary General.