The North Atlantic Council condemns the Russian Federation’s military escalation in Crimea and expresses its grave concern regarding the authorisation by the Russian Parliament to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine.
Military action against Ukraine by forces of the Russian Federation is a breach of international law and contravenes the principles of the NATO-Russia Council and the Partnership for Peace. Russia must respect its obligations under the United Nations Charter and the spirit and principles of the OSCE, on which peace and stability in Europe rest. We call on Russia to de-escalate tensions.
We call upon the Russian Federation to honor its international commitments, including those set out in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, the Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation between Russia and Ukraine of 1997, and the legal framework regulating the presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, to withdraw its forces to its bases, and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine. We urge both parties to immediately seek a peaceful resolution through bilateral dialogue, with international facilitation, as appropriate, and through the dispatch of international observers under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Ukraine is a valued partner for NATO and a founding member of the Partnership for Peace. NATO Allies will continue to support Ukrainian sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future, without outside interference.
We emphasise the importance of an inclusive political process based on democratic values, respect for human rights, minorities and the rule of law, which fulfils the democratic aspirations of the entire Ukrainian people.
We met today, at Ukraine’s request, to consult in the NATO-Ukraine Commission. We intend to engage with Russia in the NATO-Russia Council.