Text of NATO's secretary-general's statement on Ukraine

BRUSSELS, March 2 Sun Mar 2, 2014 12:15pm GMT

BRUSSELS, March 2 (Reuters) - NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen convened an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors in Brussels on Sunday to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

Ahead of the meeting he issued the following statement:

I have convened the North Atlantic Council today because of Russia's military action in Ukraine. And because of President Putin's threats against this sovereign nation.

What Russia is doing now in Ukraine violates the principles of the United Nations Charter. It threatens peace and security in Europe. Russia must stop its military activities and its threats.

Today we will discuss their implications, for European peace and security, and for NATO's relationship with Russia.

Afterwards, we will meet in the NATO-Ukraine Commission.

We support Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. We support the right of the people of Ukraine to determine their own future without outside interference. And we emphasize the need for Ukraine to continue to uphold the democratic rights of all people and ensure that minority rights are protected.

Ukraine is our neighbour, and Ukraine is a valued partner for NATO.

We urge all parties to urgently continue all efforts to move away from this dangerous situation. In particular, I call on Russia to de-escalate tensions. (Editing by Luke Baker and Sophie Hares)