NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is visiting Washington D.C. to discuss the implications of Russia’s war in Ukraine and preparations for the NATO summit in Madrid with senior US officials.
Meeting Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Wednesday (1 June 2022), the Secretary General thanked the United States for its indispensable role in NATO’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He stated that NATO and Allies’ strong support to Ukraine “helps ensure that President Putin’s aggression is not rewarded and that Ukraine prevails.”
The Secretary General also thanked the United States for increasing its military presence across Europe, stressing that strong NATO deterrence is helping to remove any room for miscalculation in Moscow about NATO’s readiness to defend and protect all Allies. He stressed that European Allies and Canada are also stepping up with more troops, higher readiness and increased defence spending.
“President Putin wanted less NATO; he is getting more NATO – more troops and more NATO members,” said Mr. Stoltenberg. He noted that the decisions by Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership are historic. He stressed that the security concerns of all Allies have to be addressed, and said “I am confident that we will find a united way forward.” To this end, he said he was in close contact with President Erdogan of Turkey, and the leaders of Finland and Sweden, and announced he would convene senior officials from all three countries in Brussels in the coming days.
The Secretary General and Secretary Blinken also discussed the NATO Summit in Madrid, where Allied leaders will agree NATO’s next Strategic Concept, strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence and defence, and prepare for an age of increased competition with authoritarian powers like Russia and China. The Secretary General noted that leaders will also review progress on burden-sharing. “We must continue to invest in our defence, and to invest in NATO, because only North America and Europe, working together in a strong NATO, can keep our one billion people safe in a more dangerous world,” he said.
Later on Wednesday, the Secretary General will meet Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.