The North Atlantic Alliance welcomes the recent easing of tensions on Ukraine's borders, but it continues to demand that Russia halt its military build-up and engage in the political process to settle the conflict, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said.
He said this at a briefing in Brussels on Tuesday, April 27, following talks with Prime Minister of Slovakia Eduard Heger, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.
"We have seen that there has been a reduction in the tensions and, of course, we welcome that. At the same time, we will now monitor the situation and the developments very closely, and we expect Russia to end all their military build-up in and around Ukraine. And we also expect Russia to engage in good faith in the political process because it is only through negotiations and through a political process that we can find a political, lasting solution," Stoltenberg said.
"I spoke with President [Volodymyr] Zelensky recently. [We] also had Foreign Minister [Dmytro] Kuleba coming here to NATO and [he] briefed the North Atlantic Council. And NATO allies reiterated their strong political support, their strong practical support to Ukraine, and NATO allies will continue to help Ukraine with implementing reforms, modernizing their defense and security institutions, and also NATO allies provide all the types of practical support and training support for Ukraine," he added.
Stoltenberg noted that NATO allies were very concerned about what has been happening around Ukraine over the past few weeks. These events, he said, are "a pattern of Russian behavior which we have seen over many years." Russia also continues to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and attempts to restrict access to parts of the Black Sea and Kerch Strait, Stoltenberg said.
According to him, NATO stands in solidarity with Ukraine. Allies are deeply concerned by Russia's destabilizing actions across the Euro-Atlantic area, including on NATO territory, Stoltenberg said.
"We stand in full solidarity with the Czech Republic following the fatal explosion at an ammunition storage depot," he added.