NATO calls Ukraine crisis "game-changer"

Speaking at the Brussels Forum, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday that Russia's escalation of the crisis in Ukraine is a "game-changer" that requires NATO to strengthen its defenses, support Ukraine, and isolate Russia.
By JC Finley  |  March 21, 2014 at 2:07 PM
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NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday that the crisis in Ukraine is a "game-changer" for NATO allies.

Speaking at the Brussels Forum, the NATO secretary general noted that "Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine is the most serious crisis in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Our vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace has been put into question."

Russia's actions, he said, are not isolated as they show "a pattern of behaviour. Of military pressure and frozen conflicts in our neighborhood," and listed them "Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and now Crimea."

With "Russia speaking and behaving more as an adversary than as a partner," the NATO head presented what he considers NATO's three priorities in responding to Russia's aggression:

First: To reaffirm our commitment to collective defence.

Second: To strengthen our support to Ukraine and the wider region.

And third: to make clear that we can no longer do business as usual with Russia.

Rasmussen appealed to European partners to "play their full part" by providing "greater political will, stronger capabilities, and more investment in defence."

In concluding his remarks, the NATO secretary general said:

"NATO will remain strong and vigilant, and work with the European Union and the rest of the international community to safeguard security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. ... Make no mistake. In a changed world, NATO stands ready."


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