On April 1, Secretary of State John Kerry attended the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Foreign Ministerial in Brussels, Belgium. Secretary Kerry and his fellow NATO Foreign Ministers discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and celebrated the anniversaries of NATO enlargement. Following the Ministerial, Secretary Kerry participated in a press availability, where he said:
“…This obviously could not be a more important time for NATO allies to come together and to reaffirm our commitment to each other, to the transatlantic treaty and transatlantic security, and especially to our common values. As we mark the 65th anniversary of the strongest alliance on earth, we are all facing a new challenge, a critical moment, a new reality on the Euro-Atlantic landscape at a time when some of the basic principles underlying the international system have been violated and, frankly, our alliance has been put to the test.”
“Let me reiterate what President Obama said in this city last week: Russia today has challenged truths that only a few weeks ago appeared to be self-evident; that in the 21st century, the borders of Europe would not be redrawn with force; and that international law still guides all of us; that people and nations must always be able to make their own decisions about their own future. It’s clear that the alliance is prepared for this moment. We heard that over and over again today from every participant. We are unified, and the alliance is strong.”
“…Europe and North America have stood together in defense of Ukraine’s right to choose its future and in defense of international law. Together, we have rejected any notion that there is any legality in Russia’s efforts to annex Crimea and challenged — we have all challenged — the tactics of intimidation, particularly the deployment of unprecedented amounts of military forces around Ukraine’s borders.
“Ukraine’s democratic and economic success is, in the end, going to be the best response to this challenge. Every ally here today pledged unwavering support in order to help make sure that Ukraine succeeds. This includes support through the IMF, our bilateral and multilateral assistance, the OSCE monitors, and through our support for free, fair, constitutional elections and for constitutional reform, as well as the anticorruption and demobilization efforts that are taking place.”
- Cross posted from DipNote, the official blog of the U.S. Department of State