NATO, Ukraine to strengthen security cooperation in Black Sea

KIEV, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) — North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Black Sea region is of high importance to the Alliance, and they will cooperate with Ukraine to monitor the security situation, Ukrinform news agency reported on Monday.

“The Black Sea region is of strategic importance to NATO and to all Allies … We work closely with our valued partners, Georgia and Ukraine. Therefore, NATO maintains a significant presence in the Black Sea region and will work more closely with Ukraine and Georgia,” Stoltenberg said during a press conference on Monday.

Stoltenberg noted that NATO will increase political and practical support for Ukraine and Georgia to strengthen security in the Black Sea region.

“We will discuss how we will address these issues together on Wednesday when we meet with the foreign ministers of the two Partner countries,” Stoltenberg added.

Earlier this month, the USS Donald Cook missile destroyer patrolled in the Black Sea as part of a NATO mission, marking the seventh trip for an American warship to the waters this year.

U.S. Navy ships regularly patrol in these waters in support of their NATO allies Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania, and partners Ukraine and Georgia.

Ukraine revoked its non-aligned status and embarked on a course of rapprochement with NATO in 2014. In February 2019, the Ukrainian parliament passed a constitutional amendment stating its commitment to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU).

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