Ukraine is NATO’s partner, but not a member of the Alliance, so it is not protected by Article 5 of the Washington Collective Defense Treaty. Nevertheless, Russia must realize that any aggression against Ukraine will come at a very high price.

This was announced by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Friday, November 26, during a press conference ahead of the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers, Ukrinform’s own correspondent reported.

“NATO provides support to Ukraine. We do that as an Alliance. And also NATO Allies provide support directly to Ukraine with different types of capacity building, with training, with supplies of different capabilities, different weapon systems.  And therefore NATO Allies and NATO provide significant political and military support to Ukraine,” Stoltenberg reiterated.

At the same time, he added that “Ukraine is a partner of NATO,” while it is not a member of the Alliance.

“So our collective defense clause, Article 5 (of the Washington Treaty – ed.) does not apply to Ukraine,” said the NATO chief.

He noted that NATO is closely monitoring the situation around Ukraine and sharing data with allies. At present, there is no certainty as to what Russia’s next steps may be. But the fact that the buildup of Russian troops continues and that Russia has already used military force troops against Ukraine is cause for concern.

“They continue to illegally annex Crimea. They continue to destabilize eastern Ukraine, Donbas, and they continue to launch cyber and hybrid attacks against Ukraine. So if putting all this together, of course, there are reasons to be deeply concerned about the developments we see along the borders of Ukraine. Therefore, we call on Russia to be transparent, to de-escalate, and to reduce tensions. It is also clear that if Russia uses force against Ukraine that will have costs, that will have consequences,” Stoltenberg stressed.

He warned Russia against miscalculating NATO’s resolve capability, and will to defend all NATO Allies, Stoltenberg said.

As reported, a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers will be held in Riga from November 30 to December 1 to discuss the current security situation and preparations for the next NATO summit in Madrid.

The NATO Secretary General invited the Foreign Ministers of Ukraine and Georgia to participate in the NATO foreign ministerial in Riga.