NATO Military Committee chairman visits Ukraine

8 April 2021

In a long-planned visit, Stuart Peach, who heads the NATO Military Committee, came to Kyiv and Lviv on April 6-7. NATO reports on its website that Peach met with President Zelensky and armed forces commander-in-chief of Ruslan Khomchak.

 

The chairman stated that “the Alliance commends President Zelensky’s commitment to a peaceful resolution” to the conflict in south-eastern Ukraine. He also pointed out Ukraine’s “continued support” of NATO operations. In his meeting with Khomchak, he also spoke about the reform of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the need to continue in this direction.

 

The NATO release regarding the visit is available on the NATO website in the Ukrainian language, as the organization added Ukrainian support this week, alongside English, French, German, and Russian.

 

James Hydzik: While Peach’s visit was planned long in advance, the timing, with western attention to Russian movements near Ukraine and further abroad all under heightened scrutiny, is important. France and Germany recently published a statement asking for “both sides” to de-escalate in south-eastern Ukraine, so the international institution’s recognition of Ukraine’s peacefulness is appreciated.

 

As Ukraine’s NATO aspirations become a topic of discussion again, the emphasis from NATO is not the resolution of the war, but rather reform, including the military. Kohmchak’s statements are part of a consistent message, and in parallel with the U.S. embassy’s statement on April 7 that reform of Ukraine’s security services is a “key step on its path toward NATO.”

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