BRUSSELS, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- As Ukraine undergoes political transition and its Russian neighbor flexes its military muscle through combat readiness drills, NATO's Defense Ministers issued a public statement Wednesday that NATO is monitoring developments in Ukraine "very closely."
NATO joined the White House and European Union in its encouragement of Ukraine undertaking a peaceful, inclusive political process that benefits the entire Ukrainian people.
With regard to NATO's partnership with Ukraine, the Defense Ministers offered their continuing support to assist Ukraine with reform implementation, noting that defense and military reforms "remain key priorities."
NATO applauded Ukraine's military for not intervening in the political crisis that gripped the country since November.
"In a democracy, it is imperative that the armed forces do not intervene in the political process. We underscore the need to strengthen democratic control over the defence and security sector, with effective parliamentary oversight and the robust involvement of civil society. In the context of recent tragic events, transparent democratic and accountable institutions are essential to the future of Ukraine."
In its statement, NATO reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.