NATO is looking to strengthen its partnership with Ukraine as it continues to resist pro-Russian separatists and assert its sovereignty as a nation.
As many as 20,000 Russian troops have now ascended upon the Ukrainian border, 8,000 of them having been added in just the past week. Today, NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen paid a visit to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss the alliance's support of the country during this time of great unrest.
A press release states that September's Alliance Summit in Wales will focus on the NATO-Ukrainian partnership in funding and advisement of defense planning:
As a sign of NATO’s strong support and solidarity, Allies have decided to hold a special meeting with Ukraine at next month’s NATO Summit in Wales which will contribute “to making our partnership even stronger,” the Secretary General said. NATO already advises Ukraine on defence planning and defence reform, and the Alliance is ready to intensify this support. In June, NATO Foreign Ministers also agreed to establish four trust funds to assist Ukraine. These could cover areas such as command and control, logistics, and re-training of retired military personnel.
Rasmussen says, “I call on Russia to step back from the brink. Step back from the border. Do not use peacekeeping as an excuse for war-making. I urge Russia to follow the genuine path to peace. To stop its support for separatists. To pull pack its troops from Ukraine's border. And to engage in a sincere dialogue for a peaceful solution."