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NATO And Crisis In Ukraine

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia listens to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a NATO-Ukraine foreign ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels April 1, 2014.

In order to support Ukraine economically during this crisis, NATO allies have pledged their support.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry marked NATO’s 65th anniversary “at a time when some of the basic principles underlying the international system have been violated.” NATO, Mr. Kerry affirmed, remains unified and strong.

The Alliance is maintaining political dialogue with Russia, but has suspended all NATO-Russia cooperation. It is providing reassurance to all member states that Article 5, the mutual defense clause at the core of NATO, means what it says. The United States has already made contributions to bolstering deterrence and reassurance, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to Article 5.

In recent weeks, the U.S. has augmented NATO’s Baltic air policing mission with six additional F-15s and deployed 12 F-16s to Poland. The USS Truxtun has carried out exercises in the Black Sea, with another U.S. ship to go to the Black Sea soon.

Europe and North America remain united behind Ukraine’s right to determine its future, and they reject Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Russia needs to withdraw its military forces from Ukraine’s border and begin negotiations with Ukraine’s government.

In order to support Ukraine economically during this crisis, NATO allies have pledged their support, and the United States is working with the International Monetary Fund to implement an assistance package in return for political and economic reforms.

Russian natural gas giant Gazprom recently announced a significant increase in the price of natural gas it supplies to Ukraine. Secretary Kerry condemned the price hike saying, “No nation should use energy to stymie a people’s aspirations…We can’t allow it to be used as a political weapon or an instrument for aggression.” The U.S. is working with Ukraine and our Allies on its western borders to prepare to reverse natural gas flows in some of their pipelines so that Ukraine can access additional gas supplies if needed. The United States is proud to be providing Ukraine emergency finance and technical assistance in the area of energy security, energy efficiency and energy sector reform.

As free nations, the United States and its NATO allies will continue to stand together in defense of international law, mutual security, and rights of nations like Ukraine to freely choose their own destiny.