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NATO – North Atlantic Council Statement on Russia’s Attack on Ukraine

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Russia’s attack on Ukraine is completely unjustified and unprovoked, and NATO condemns it in the strongest possible terms. All those killed and injured, as well as the people of Ukraine, are in our thoughts. Belarus is also to be condemned for facilitating this attack.

Russia’s renewed attack is a grave violation of international law, including the UN Charter, and violates its commitments under the Helsinki Final Act, the Paris Charter, the Budapest Memorandum, and the NATO-Russia Founding Act. A peaceful country is a victim of aggression.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and with its legitimate, democratically elected government and parliament. The United States will always support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters.

Specifically, we call on Russia to immediately cease its military action, withdraw all its forces from the area around Ukraine, respect international humanitarian law, and allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and assistance to all persons in need.

Related: NATO – Ukraine Joining NATO and Why Russia Opposes It

We strongly condemn Russia’s decision to recognize the separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. Russia is a signatory to the Minsk agreements, which further violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will never accept this illegal recognition.

In the strongest terms, we call on Russia to reverse its course of aggression and violence. Russian leaders must take full responsibility for their actions. Russia will pay a heavy economic and political price for its actions. NATO will maintain close coordination with relevant stakeholders and other international organizations, including the EU.

Throughout this crisis, NATO, the Allies, and our partners have made every effort to pursue diplomacy and dialogue with Russia, including at the highest levels, and have made a variety of substantive proposals to enhance the security of all nations in the Euro-Atlantic region. NATO-Russia Council talks have been repeatedly invited by NATO. Russia has not responded. Russia, and only Russia, has chosen to escalate.

Actions taken by Russia will have a geostrategic impact on Euro-Atlantic security. All necessary measures will be taken by NATO to ensure the security and defense of all Allies. We are deploying additional land, air, and maritime assets to the eastern part of the Alliance. Our forces are now more prepared to respond to all contingencies.

We held today’s consultations in accordance with Article 4 of the Washington Treaty. As part of our defensive planning, we have taken additional steps to further strengthen the defense and deterrence across the Alliance in line with our defensive strategy. Our measures are and remain preventive, proportionate, and non-escalating.

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