March 2nd, 2014 18:11 EST
NATO Urges Russia to De-escalate Tensions in Ukraine
American Forces Press Service
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen today urged Russia to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine, according his statements contained in a NATO news release.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen comments on the situation in Ukraine before the meetings of the North Atlantic Council and the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Brussels, March 2, 2014. NATO photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Rasmussen commented on the situation in Ukraine before attending meetings of the North Atlantic Council and the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Brussels.
I have convened the North Atlantic Council today because of Russia`s military action in Ukraine. And because of President Putin`s threats against this sovereign nation, " Rasmussen said in the release.
Following a Ukrainian pro-democracy coalition`s recent ouster of Ukraine`s pro-Russian government, the Russian military has been reported to be operating in and around the Crimea region in southeastern Ukraine, where the Russian Navy`s Black Sea Fleet has its principal base in Sevastopol on the Black Sea. The Crimea region is home to an ethic-Russian majority populace.
What Russia is doing now in Ukraine violates the principles of the United Nations Charter, Rasmussen said in the release. Russia`s actions in Ukraine, he added, threaten peace and security in Europe.
Russia must stop its military activities and its threats, " Rasmussen said. Today we will discuss their implications, for European peace and security and for NATO`s relationship with Russia. Afterwards, we will meet in the NATO-Ukraine Commission. "
NATO supports Ukraine`s territorial integrity and sovereignty, Rasmussen said.
We support the right of the people of Ukraine to determine their own future without outside interference, " he said. And we emphasize the need for Ukraine to continue to uphold the democratic rights of all people and ensure that minority rights are protected.
Ukraine is our neighbor, " Rasmussen continued, and Ukraine is a valued partner for NATO. "
Rasmussen said NATO urges all parties to urgently continue all efforts to move away from this dangerous situation.
In particular, I call on Russia to de-escalate tensions, " he added.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia