Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, delivered a speech at the annual Halifax International Security Forum. The Deputy Prime Minister stressed that the year of 2021 would be a crucial year for NATO, as a presentation of the Alliance's new strategic concept until 2030 is scheduled for the summer.
"A strong Alliance is impossible without strong allies. Ukraine seeks to see a clear prospect of its membership in NATO: we are constantly demonstrating this aspiration by pursuing reforms, fulfillment of commitments and the capabilities of our Armed Forces. Giving Ukraine a NATO Membership Action Plan would be an extremely powerful signal of the transformation of the entire region, which will undoubtedly enhance the transatlantic security system’s strength and resilience. After all, in some issues, such as countering hybrid threats, Ukraine is a pioneer," said Olha Stefanishyna.
In addition, the Deputy Prime Minister stressed the importance of the Black Sea area for the entire Euro-Atlantic security system: "The issue of security strategy in the Black Sea requires a greater attention from NATO and the United States, in particular. Increasing the military presence in the region should be a high-level agenda and cannot be shaped without Ukraine as a regional leader. In the context of Russian aggression, it is not just a question of security in the Black Sea, but also of the democratic development of the entire region and, even more, the strengthening of NATO's southeastern flank," said the Deputy Prime Minister.
Separately, she touched upon the issue of counteracting the completion of construction and launch of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
"Nord Stream 2 is not an economic project, but a purely geopolitical one. Moscow aims to blackmail Europe with energy resources and sow constant discord between the member states of the North Atlantic Alliance," said Olha Stefanishyna.
The full version of the discussion panel "After 2020: The World With America", in which Olha Stefanishyna took part, is available at bit.ly/35WcmCE.