Takeaways from the 2021 NATO Ministerial Meeting in Riga

#UWC news
December 3,2021 129
Takeaways from the 2021 NATO Ministerial Meeting in Riga

On November 30 and December 1, a meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs took place in Riga, Latvia. At the invitation of the Alliance’s leadership, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba also attended the event.

The meeting focused mostly on security in Europe, which is deteriorating rapidly under pressure from the growing Russian hybrid aggression, and on the possible ways to counter these threats. Particularly, the participants of the meeting discussed:

  • Massive Russian military build-up near Ukraine and the general situation in the Black Sea
  • A deliberate migrant crisis organized by the Lukashenko regime and Belarus’ hybrid aggression against Allies
  • Situation in the Western Balkans, where Russia is trying to undermine stability.

In result of the discussion, the NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs have reaffirmed their unwavering support for Ukraine’s and Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. They also called on Russia to be transparent, de-escalate and reduce tensions,

and stressed on the high price that Moscow would pay in case of further aggression against Ukraine. In particular, it would include a significant increase in sanction pressure in case Russia invades Ukraine.

Providing an answer to recent demands by President Putin to provide Russia with “legal guarantees” that Ukraine won’t become a NATO member, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Alliance remained committed to the decisions adopted at the 2008 Bucharest summit,

and that Russia had no right to interfere.

“It’s disrespectful towards the sovereignty and the will of the Ukrainian people. … It’s only Ukraine and 30 NATO allies that decide when Ukraine is ready to join the Alliance. Russia has no veto. Russia has no say. And Russia has no right to establish a sphere of influence,

trying to control their neighbours,” said the NATO Secretary General.

He also informed that NATO would help strengthen the military capabilities of Ukraine and Georgia and called on NATO member states to increase bilateral defense cooperation with Kyiv.

All the decisions that have been adopted during the meeting in Riga will become part of the new NATO Strategic Concept, which is to be adopted at the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid.

The Ukrainian World Congress continuously advocates for Ukraine’s full membership in NATO and is thankful for the Allies’ strong and steadfast support of Ukraine!