The NATO-Ukraine Commission met in Brussels on Tuesday (22 February 2022) for an extraordinary meeting to address the security situation in and around Ukraine.
Allies condemned Russia’s decision to recognise the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, as well as Russia’s further incursion into Ukraine. Calling this a “serious escalation by Russia,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Moscow had moved from covert attempts to destabilise Ukraine to overt military action, with many Russian units forward deployed in combat formations and “ready to strike.”
The Secretary General commended Ukraine for its restraint in not responding to Russia’s repeated provocations. “We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and its government,” he said. Stoltenberg stressed that Allies are united in their full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, and continue to provide strong political support and military equipment to Ukraine.
The Secretary General underlined that NATO will do whatever is necessary to shield Allies from aggression. In the last weeks, he noted, Allies have deployed thousands of more troops to the eastern part of the Alliance and placed more on standby.
“We have over 100 jets at high alert and there are more than 120 Allied ships at sea, from the High North to the Mediterranean,” he said.
The Secretary General also welcomed the economic sanctions announced by many NATO Allies and the decision by the German government that it cannot certify the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. At the same time, he noted that Allies continue to urge Russia, in the strongest possible terms, to choose the path of diplomacy.
Calling this “the most dangerous moment in European security for a generation,” the Secretary General said that Europe and North America continue to stand strong together in NATO, committed to defend and protect each other.