Time: 6:20 p.m. CEST
The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg addressed Russia to end “political, military and financial support for separatists,” which are fighting Kiev troops in eastern Ukraine. Stoltenberg announced the call to Moscow during the news conference with Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko.
During the latest NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland, the alliance agreed to deploy four battalions in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which expressed concerns after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and supported the Russian-speaking rebels in eastern Ukraine.
“We do not, we will not recognize Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, and we condemn Russia’s deliberate destabilization of eastern Ukraine, where ceasefire violations occur on daily basis,” Stoltenberg said in Warsaw.
NATO members appealed to the commitments of respecting the Minsk agreement. “We call on Moscow to end its political, military and financial support for the separatists. All parties must fully implement the Minsk agreements,” Stoltenberg said. In addition, NATO allies promised the United States will help fund the Afghan military with the $1 billion of non-U.S. commitments.
The NATO mission in Afghanistan will continue into 2017, with 12,000 NATO and U.S. troops. The NATO members, who participated at a two-day summit in the Poland’s capital, required of the Afghan leaders to fight corruption, carry out electoral reforms and protect human rights.
NATO is in Afghanistan since 2003, but the worsening of the situation and a resurgent Taliban influenced on the prolonged presence for training and support. Moreover, NATO will engage into training missions in Iraq, Jordan and Libya, with Albania promising trainers for the missions. On Saturday’s news conference, Stoltenberg welcomed the Montenegro to the NATO alliance.
Another issue, which dominated during the Summit is the relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, especially in the time when the UK remain key segment of the European security through the NATO.
President Barack Obama urged German Chancellor Angel Merkel on Saturday to ensure an orderly transition to a close relationship between Britain and the European Union once the UK leaves the EU. Both met on the sidelines of the summit.
Meanwhile, the EU leaders explained Britain “can only retain full access to their lucrative single market, including for its large financial services sector, if it continues to allow free movement of EU workers and upholds EU rules,” Reuters reported.
The two candidates to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron have both said they intend to restrict immigration. Reuters reports, “French President Francois Hollande told a NATO conference on Saturday that the U.S. presidential election should not put into question transatlantic relations. Hollande said a European defense separate from NATO would not make any sense.