We must make sure that Russia's aggression ends with clear resolutions - NATO foreign ministers

  • 2024-03-29
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - We must make sure that Russia's aggression in Ukraine ends with clear resolutions - justice for war victims and accountability, as well as a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, the foreign ministers of the seven NATO member states said in a joint statement circulated to the media.

The joint statement by the foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia begins by recalling the facts of March 29, 2004, when Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia joined NATO.

Since they joined NATO 20 years ago, the security, freedom and prosperity of these countries have been stronger than at any time in history.

The seven countries of the Alliance believe that collective deterrence and defense is NATO's primary mission and must remain so.

"On this historic day, we have taken a moment to celebrate what has been achieved, even though here on our continent it is overshadowed by war and destruction. Russia's brutal full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine has brought unimaginable human suffering and loss," the statement said.

Allies are committed to supporting Ukraine to victory. The more we do to help Ukraine, the sooner a new day will dawn across Europe. Allies are working closely together to support Ukraine in line with the decisions of the Vilnius Summit.

"At the same time, we must make sure that this aggression ends with clear resolutions - justice for the victims of this brutal, unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression and accountability, as well as a comprehensive, just and lasting peace. These are the lessons on which we must build a new solid foundation for a united and free Europe. We must bear in mind that by leaving a European nation in a grey area, we are helping to trigger another potential tragedy," the article states.

The recent admission of Finland, and now Sweden, into the NATO family sends a clear signal that the Alliance's doors remain open to all democratic European countries willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership and whose membership contributes to common security.

Each European nation has the right to choose its own security structures. No third party has a say in the process, the ministers said.

The Allies that have joined NATO since the end of the Cold War have strengthened the Alliance. They also play an important role in preparing the Alliance for ever new challenges, whether in the form of disinformation campaigns, cyber technology or new technologies such as artificial intelligence or quantum technologies.

By maintaining their technological excellence and protecting the foundations of a rules-based international order, NATO allies should be prepared to face the growing threats that are becoming increasingly hybrid in their manifestations. Cooperation with like-minded partners who also share democratic values would prove beneficial in this endeavor.

More resources should also be made available to counter all threats and challenges. "We expect all allies to shoulder their share of the responsibility to meet the commitment to invest at least 2 percent of their GDP in defense each year, and to continue to consolidate and strengthen their collective defense efforts, including in industry," the the ministers said.

"We look forward to the NATO Summit in Washington in July, marking the 75th anniversary of our Alliance. NATO has successfully fulfilled its tasks and our resolve is ironclad, and NATO Article 5 remains the ultimate security guarantee. But we must also learn from experience and ensure a just peace for our future generations, for all Europeans. "All for one and one for all" is the principle that has got us where we are today and will guide us in the future," the ministers emphasize.