NATO Secretary General stresses importance of defending democratic values in visit to Copenhagen

  • 20 Apr. 2015 -
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  • Last updated: 20 Apr. 2015 16:04

In a visit to Denmark on Monday (20 April 2015) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commended the Danish people for the way they stood up for open democratic societies after February’s Copenhagen attacks, adding that it was “more important to defend our values as we face a dramatically changed security environment in Europe and right on Europe’s borders.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Mr. Stoltenberg said Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine “challenge our vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace.” NATO is responding with the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War, said the Secretary General who was in Copenhagen for talks with Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and other senior government officials.

The Secretary General thanked Denmark for its commitment to the Alliance, including the country’s contribution to NATO’s new quick reaction Spearhead Force and the Alliance’s missile defence system. Mr. Stoltenberg said that NATO’s missile defence system aims to protect Allied member nations against threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. The Secretary General underlined that NATO’s missile defence system is neither designed nor directed against Russia.

Mr. Stoltenberg met with Defence Minister Nicolai Wammen and laid a wreath at the Monument for the Fallen in Danish International Operations at the Kastellet. He attended a private audience with HM Queen Margrethe II and met Mogens Lykketoft, the Speaker of the Danish Parliament, the Folketing, as well as members of the Folketing’s foreign and defence committees.

During his visit, the Secretary General also gave a speech and answered students’ questions at the University of Copenhagen on the importance of keeping NATO strong in wake of the changed security environment and the challenges the Alliance faces from the east and the south.