NATO Secretary General discusses Belarus, Russia, with Chancellor Merkel
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday (19 November 2021) for talks on current security challenges and further strengthening NATO.
Speaking at a press point at the Chancellery, Mr. Stoltenberg thanked Germany for its vital contributions to the Alliance, including maritime deployments in the Aegean as well as Bundeswehr deployments in Lithuania and to the Alliance’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.
On Belarus, the Secretary General said that “the Lukashenko regime’s use of vulnerable people as means to put pressure on other countries is cynical and inhumane. We remain vigilant, and stand ready to further help our Allies.” Secretary General Stoltenberg said that NATO was also closely monitoring a “large and unusual concentration of Russian forces” near Ukraine’s borders. “It is urgent that Russia shows transparency about this military build-up, de-escalates and reduces tensions”, the Secretary General said.
The Secretary General paid a personal tribute to Chancellor Merkel, thanking her for her strong leadership and her personal commitment to the transatlantic Alliance over many years. “Every time, I’ve been deeply impressed by your ability to go straight to the point, to find solutions, and move the agenda forward,” he said. “Thank you for everything you have done for NATO. Vielen Dank, liebe Angela!” As a token of his appreciation, Secretary General Stoltenberg presented Angela Merkel with a photo album documenting all the 11 NATO Summits that she took part in as Chancellor.