What does the National Security Strategy mean for Ukraine?

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk shakes hands with Secretary of State John Kerry, left, during a recent meeting in Ukraine. (© AP Images)

The United States released its National Security Strategy (NSS) on February 6.  The document sets out principles and priorities to guide American foreign policy toward the goal of leading the world toward greater peace and a new prosperity.

The NSS calls on America to spread respect for universal values and to grow an international economic system that promotes opportunity and prosperity. These principles set the direction for U.S. engagement with Ukraine.

In response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, America has led “an international effort to support the Ukrainian people as they choose their own future and develop their democracy and economy,” says the NSS.

Relevant NSS passages include these priorities:

  • Backing security commitments to allies: “We will support partners such as Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine so they can better work alongside the United States and NATO, as well as provide for their own defense.”
  • “Working with Europe to improve its energy security in both the short and long term.”
  • Imposing significant costs on Russian aggression through sanctions and other means, and confronting Russian propaganda with the truth.
  • “Keep[ing] the door open to greater collaboration with Russia in areas of common interests, should it choose a different path — a path of peaceful cooperation that respects the sovereignty and democratic development of neighboring states.”

The NSS is an executive branch report to Congress. It explains the administration’s strategy for addressing issues that are important to U.S. national security. Learn more.