Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee and senior military advisor to the Secretary General paid a long-planned visit to Kyiv, Ukraine on 6-7 April 2021. Air Chief Marshal Peach met with the President of Ukraine, Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak. The Chairman visited the National Land Forces Academy, attended briefings on the NATO – Ukraine partnership, international training missions’ progress, as well as the security situation in and around Ukraine. Air Chief Marshal Peach paid his respects and laid a wreath at the Ministry of Defence’s Hall of Memory.
Meeting with President Zelenskyy, the Chairman reaffirmed NATO’s valued partnership with Ukraine and its full support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Discussions centred on Ukraine’s wide-ranging defence reforms, the developments in Ukraine and the Black Sea region, Ukraine’s continued support to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, the Kosovo Force in Kosovo, as well as NATO’s Response Force.
The Chairman of the Military Committee stated, “the Alliance commends President Zelenskyy’s commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. NATO Allies are united in their condemnation of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, and its aggressive actions in eastern Ukraine. We call on Russia to end its support for militants in eastern Ukraine and withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory. Ukraine is one of NATO’s closest and most important partners”.
Travelling to Lviv, the Chairman met with Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak. They discussed the security situation in and around Ukraine, Ukraine’s enhanced opportunities partnership with NATO, and the progress of Ukraine’s security and defence reforms. Air Chief Marshal Peach commended Ukraine for its commitment to major reforms whilst defending its citizens and sovereign territory from aggression over the last seven years.
Air Chief Marshal Peach stressed, “we welcome Ukraine’s efforts to implement major reforms. This momentum needs to continue, in order to consolidate Ukraine’s democratic institutions, strengthen the rule of law, fight against corruption, and continue reforming its security and defence sector. These reforms are essential to bring Ukraine closer to its Euro-Atlantic partners”.
NATO maintains strong political dialogue and practical support to Ukraine. This includes areas such as command and control, countering explosive devices and medical rehabilitation. The Alliance has also increased its support to partners in the Black Sea region, with exercises, port visits and information sharing. Throughout the pandemic, NATO’s disaster relief centre has coordinated the delivery of medical supplies and financial assistance to Ukraine to deal with COVID-19.