President of Ukraine

We consider Jens Stoltenberg's visit to Kyiv a sign that NATO is ready to start a new chapter in relations with Ukraine - Volodymyr Zelenskyy following the negotiations in the capital

20 April 2023 - 14:33

We consider Jens Stoltenberg's visit to Kyiv a sign that NATO is ready to start a new chapter in relations with Ukraine - Volodymyr Zelenskyy following the negotiations in the capital

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who arrived in our country on a visit.

"We welcome NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to Kyiv, to Ukraine, which stands strong, free and sees the prospect of the complete liberation of our land from the Russian occupier. This visit of the Secretary General is the first since the full-scale war - we consider it a sign that the Alliance is ready to start a new chapter in relations with Ukraine - a chapter of ambitious decisions," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a conversation with media representatives following the negotiations with Jens Stoltenberg in Kyiv.

The Head of State also thanked the NATO Secretary General for starting his visit to Ukraine by visiting the de-occupied cities and communities.

"All of Europe and the world need a clear understanding that only the victory of Ukraine will save other states and peoples from such terrible destruction, losses and deaths that Russia has brought to our land," he said.

During the meeting, the parties touched upon four main issues: the meeting of the group on the defense of Ukraine in the Ramstein format on April 21; encouraging partners to supply certain types of weapons; preparation for the Vilnius NATO Summit, to which Ukraine has been invited, as well as security guarantees for our country on the way to the Alliance.

"The first is Ramstein, the meeting that will take place tomorrow, and the decisions we expect from our partners. First of all, it concerns the armed support of our active actions. The further our soldiers can move on the frontline, the sooner the most important thing - peace - will return to Ukraine and all of Europe," the President noted.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy also urged the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance to help overcome the reticence of partners in supplying our country with long-range weapons, modern aircraft, artillery and armored vehicles.

"Delay with appropriate decisions is time lost for peace and the lives of our soldiers, who have not yet received the vitally necessary number of defense means," he emphasized.

In the context of preparations for the NATO Summit in Vilnius, the Head of State noted that the meeting could become historic.

"I am grateful for the invitation to attend the Summit, but it is important that Ukraine also receives a corresponding invitation. There is no objective barrier that would prevent the adoption of political decisions on inviting Ukraine to the Alliance. And right now, when the majority of people in NATO countries and the majority of Ukrainians support our country's accession to the Alliance, it is time for appropriate decisions. It is no longer possible to imagine the security of the Euro-Atlantic area without Ukraine, and people understand that," the President noted.

The interlocutors also touched upon the issue of providing security guarantees for Ukraine while the country is on its way to the Alliance.

"I emphasize: these security guarantees in no way replace or delay Ukraine's membership in NATO. While the implementation of decisions continues, security is already needed. And, as history has proven, this is necessary not only for our state, but also for everyone in Europe, for the entire free world. It was the security uncertainty that fueled the aggressor's illusions. Therefore, security certainty will be a reliable protection against the repetition of any new aggression against our people or any other free European people," emphasized Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

He expressed conviction that together Ukraine and NATO will continue to establish peace throughout Europe and the world.

For his part, Jens Stoltenberg praised the bravery of the Armed Forces and the resilience of the Ukrainian people, which inspire the whole world.

The Secretary General of the Alliance noted that he came today with a simple message: NATO stands with Ukraine.

"We stood with you after Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, we stand with you in the heroic struggle against the Russian invaders and in defense of your country. And we will stand with you tomorrow, when you will rebuild the country and work for the bright future of the Ukrainian people," said Jens Stoltenberg.

He emphasized that Russian aggression must be stopped.

NATO Secretary General expressed his support for the Peace Formula initiated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and assured that the Alliance will continue to strengthen the Ukrainian army.

"We must provide the most powerful Ukrainian security capabilities possible. Ukraine should rightfully find a place in the Euro-Atlantic family, and Ukraine rightfully belongs in NATO. And we will help. With our support, we will make it possible," he said.

Jens Stoltenberg said that during today's meeting, the parties discussed a long-term support initiative that will help Ukraine’s transition from Soviet-era equipment and doctrine to NATO standards and ensure full operational interoperability of the Ukrainian army with Alliance forces.

"This is the evidence of NATO's long-term commitment to Ukraine. The Alliance stands with you today, tomorrow and will stand for as long as it takes," Jens Stoltenberg assured.