Albanian workers prepare to hoist a NATO flag in the center of Tirana April 1, 2009. REUTERS/Arben Celi

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Monday pledged the alliance’s support for Ukraine as it faces a bloody insurgency by pro-Russian separatists in its eastern regions. More than 10,000 people have been killed since a Russian-backed rebellion against the pro-EU government in Kiev erupted in April 2014. Ukraine and the West accuse Moscow of smuggling weapons and troops across the porous border, a charge it denies. “Russia has maintained its aggressive actions against Ukraine, but NATO and NATO allies stand by Ukraine and stand on your side,” Stoltenberg said in his opening remarks of the NATO-Ukraine Commission session in Kiev.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainean peninsula of Crimea in 2014 have driven ties between Moscow and the West to their lowest point since the Cold War. “We are also here to demonstrate NATO’s solidarity with Ukraine and our firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity …
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