NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Kyiv on Thursday meeting with Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Turchynov that the Alliance decided to increase the level of support and cooperation with Ukraine.
"The Alliance condemns the actions of the Russian Federation, which led to the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea ... Currently, the North Atlantic Alliance is suspending cooperation with the Russian Federation, strengthening collective defense for the protection of all NATO members, and decided to increase the level of support and co-operation with Ukraine," Rasmussen noted. He voiced hope that the Ukraine-NATO summit, to be held in September, will allow to take further concrete steps to establish productive cooperation between the two sides. However, he noted that "Ukraine requires comprehensive reforms, particularly in the military sector, and the Verkhovna Rada should play an important role here." In turn, Turchynov said that after the outbreak of war by Russia in the east of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, positive changes have occurred in the attitudes of society regarding the Euro-Atlantic integration. "The negative attitude because of the active Russian propaganda has changed into positive and understanding that this aggression is a challenge not only to Ukraine but to the entire civilized world, because it destroys the system of collective security, built after the Second World War. During the meeting the sides also focused on the need for active participation of Ukraine in the long-term programs to improve its military sector, and to take part in joint exercises.