Stoltenberg: Illegal Annexation of Crimea by Russia Strengthened NATO

Photo from Ukrinform – UATV


The illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 triggered strengthening of NATO’s collective defence.

“Black Sea Region is of importance, great importance for NATO. And we have to remember that what triggered the adaptation, the strengthening of NATO’s collective defense, which we have seen over the last years, was actually the illegal annexation of Crimea in the Black Sea,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a briefing in Brussels following a meeting with Prime Minister of Romania Ludovic Orban.

As Stoltenberg emphasized, the Black Sea is of strategic importance for NATO. NATO has increased its presence in the Black Sea Region on land, at sea and in the air, with enhanced air policing, with a stronger naval presence and with more presence with land forces.

“We are constantly assessing the need to further strengthen our presence. We have to remember that three of our member states are littoral states to the Black Sea: Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. And then we have two close partners, Ukraine and Georgia, who are also Black Sea countries. So we are also working closely with them, helping them, working with them, exercising with them,” Stoltenberg added.