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NATO2022Bucharest/Stoltenberg: We cannot let Putin win

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NATO foreign ministers will address ways to step up support for Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot be allowed to win.

"We will do what is necessary to protect and defend all allies. Here in Bucharest NATO foreign ministers will address ways to step up our support for Ukraine as well as other partners facing face Russian pressure - Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia and Moldova. You have proven a generous host to over 1.5 million refugees, you have assisted with export of millions of tonnes of Ukrainian grain to help ease the global food crisis, and you provide significant military assistance to Ukraine. We cannot let Putin win. This would show authoritarian leaders around the world that they can achieve their goals by using military force and make the world a more dangerous place for all of us. So, it is in our own security interest to support Ukraine," said Stoltenberg.

The statements were made at a joint news conference with President Klaus Iohannis.

The NATO secretary general thanked President Iohannis for Romania's strong commitment to maintain defence spending above 2% of GDP. "Investing in our defence is essential as we face the greatest security crisis in a generation," he said.

"In response to Russia's aggression, NATO is reinforcing its presence from the Baltic to the Black Sea. We have set up new battlegroups, including the one led by France here in Romania. Fighter jets from Canada also help to keep your skies safe, and US Patriot missiles boost your defences," added Stoltenberg.

 

 The NATO Foreign Ministerial Meeting which is taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, in Bucharest, "provides us with an opportunity to reiterate the strong message from NATO Allies, including Romania, that we support Ukraine, we support the right to self-defence, and that we need to continue to provide both military support but also humanitarian and financial support," Jens Stoltenberg stated.

The NATO Secretary General argued that the event in Bucharest "demonstrates the important role that Romania is playing in our Alliance, it also demonstrate that NATO is here to protect and defend all Allies."

"And as you mentioned, we have increased our presence in Romania, in the Black Sea region over many years, since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea back in 2014. But after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, we have stepped up further with more troops, more air and naval presence. And all this demonstrates that NATO is committed to defend every inch of Allied territory and the reason we do that is of course to prevent an attack on an Allied country and to prevent escalation of the war in Ukraine," the NATO high official stated.

He also talked about the messages to be conveyed from Bucharest to partner counties - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. "We need to strengthen our partnership with other partners that are under pressure from Russia," he showed.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commend "the role of Romania, hosting large number of refugees and also providing support to Ukraine, helping them to fight back the Russian invasion."

In his turn, Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu underscored that the NATO Ministerial Meeting in Bucharest is a "token of NATO's commitment towards the security of Romania and of the Romanian citizens."

"At the same time, I think [it is] a recognition of Romania's role in the Alliance and our strong commitment for the values of the Alliance and also, of course, a recognition of the strategic importance of the Black Sea," he pointed out.

The Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister brought to mind Jens Stoltenberg's visit to Romania, in the beginning of February, before the war in Ukraine started. "We were discussing about how to strengthen the presence of the Alliance in Romania, and now, we gather in Bucharest to discuss how to counter the effects of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and how to best implement the decisions of the Madrid Summit, very important, especially the ones on enhancing our Eastern Flank," Aurescu stated.

Romania is hosting on Tuesday and Wednesday, the meeting of the NATO foreign affairs ministers, the fist high-level event of NATO in a state on the Eastern Flank, that is positioned in the Alliance's first line of defense, after the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.


(Photo:https://www.presidency.ro/ro/media/galerie-foto-video)



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Tuesday, November 29, 2022