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Stoltenberg: Ukraine-NATO commission to discuss support for Ukraine in war, start work on cooperation program

BRUSSELS. April 4 (Interfax-Ukraine) – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expects that during the first meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission since 2017 at the level of foreign ministers, both the issue of supporting Ukraine in the war waged by Russia and a multi-year plan for further cooperation will be discussed, aimed at bringing Kyiv closer to the alliance.

He said this on Tuesday in Brussels at NATO headquarters before the start of a two-day meeting of the foreign ministers of the organization’s member countries, which will include a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission with the participation of Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Previously, meetings of the Commission at a level higher than the level of ambassadors were blocked by Hungary.

“NATO Foreign Ministers meet at an important moment for our security. Tomorrow, we will hold the NATO-Ukraine Commission with Foreign Minister Kuleba. To address Russia’s war of aggression, and our support to Kyiv. The second, is that we are then also looking into how can we develop our political relationship with Ukraine and some of the ideas we have about how we can expand the work we do on more long term reforms, institution building, transition from Soviet era to NATO standards, interoperability. Of course, all of this also helps to move Ukraine closer to Euro-Atlantic integration, to the NATO family,” he said.

In addition, the allies intend on Wednesday to discuss a broad issue in the field of existing security challenges, including the Middle East and Africa, the fight against terrorism. “To address all of these challenges, it is essential that we invest more in defence. At the Vilnius Summit, I expect Allies to agree an ambitious new defence investment pledge, with 2% of GDP for defence as a floor, not a ceiling,” the NATO Secretary General said.

NATO ministers will also meet with partners from New Zealand, Australia, Japan and South Korea.