Statement by the NATO Secretary General on the recognition by Russia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk ”People’s Republics”

I condemn Russia’s decision to extend recognition to the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic”. This further undermines Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, erodes efforts towards a resolution of the conflict, and violates the Minsk Agreements, to which Russia is a party.

In 2015, the United Nations Security Council, which includes Russia, reaffirmed its full respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Donetsk and Luhansk are part of Ukraine.
Moscow continues to fuel the conflict in eastern Ukraine by providing financial and military support to the separatists. It is also trying to stage a pretext to invade Ukraine once again.
NATO supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. Allies urge Russia, in the strongest possible terms, to choose the path of diplomacy, and to immediately reverse its massive military build-up in and around Ukraine, and withdraw its forces from Ukraine in accordance with its international obligations and commitments.
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