Jens Stoltenberg, who was speaking in Berlin, said that for the alliance to remain strong, it needs to strengthen its deterrence and defense capabilities, increase support for Ukraine and cooperate with allies around the world to “defend freedom” .

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, NATO has responded with the biggest defense reinforcement in a generation, he said, but warned that “more needs to be done” and that each ally must “do what is necessary” to be able to fully comply with its defense plans and achieve the minimum target of 2% of GDP.

Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged that increasing Defense spending is not easy, since “the more you spend on Defense, the less you spend on other things: health, education, infrastructure”.

However, he stressed that, if military expenditures were reduced with the end of the Cold War, it is necessary to have the capacity to increase them now that tensions are rising.

The official also criticized the fact that NATO allies were unable, in recent months, to provide the promised assistance to Ukraine.

“For months, the US has been unable to approve the new (aid) package and ammunition deliveries to Europe are far below promised levels. Delays have consequences,” he said, lamenting that Ukraine’s disadvantage in terms of weapons and the lack of air defenses have allowed Russia to advance the front line and attack more targets.

However, “it is not too late”, stressed the NATO secretary general, citing as examples of the way forward the British Government’s decision to send more ammunition and increase defense spending to 2.5% of GDP, and the announcement by the Netherlands of additional aid of four billion euros.

Furthermore, he expressed the expectation that, at the alliance’s next summit in Washington in June, NATO will decide to take on a more important role in coordinating military aid and training Ukrainian soldiers, in order to give military assistance a “basis” more solid and long-term”.

Globally, NATO also needs to strengthen its cooperation with countries with similar values, as Russia is supported by China, North Korea and Iran, which fuel Moscow’s “war economy”, he said.

NATO’s secretary general arrived in Germany today, where he visited the Laage air base, in the northeast of the country, and met with the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock.

On Friday he will meet with members of the Foreign Affairs and Defense committees of the Bundestag (lower house of the German Parliament), as well as with the Chancellor, Olaf Scholz.

Read Also: Stoltenberg insists with G7 on the urgency of anti-aircraft defense for Ukraine


Leave a Reply