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NATO: 'We stand by Ukraine'

NATO reasserted its support Thursday for Ukraine, telling President Petro Poroshenko that "We stand by Ukraine and your struggle to uphold the fundamental principles on which we have built our free societies."
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   Aug. 7, 2014 at 6:41 PM
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KIEV, Ukraine, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday in Kiev.

At the meeting, Rasmussen conveyed NATO's support for Ukraine.

"NATO's support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine is unwavering. Our partnership is long-standing. It's strong, and in response to Russia's aggression, NATO is working even more closely with Ukraine to reform its armed forces and defense institutions."

Poroshenko thanked Rasmussen for NATO's recognition of Ukraine's sovereign territorial integrity and presented Rasmussen with Ukraine's Order of Liberty. Thanking the Ukrainian president for the award, Rasmussen reiterated NATO's commitment to Ukraine.

"We stand by Ukraine and your struggle to uphold the fundamental principles on which we have built our free societies."

At a press conference, the NATO head directed his words to Russia, encouraging Ukraine's aggressive neighbor to retreat from the border, cease its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine and not to "use peacekeeping as an excuse for war-making."

Rasmussen also met with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and Verkhovna Rada Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov.

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