Secretary General praises Germany’s contributions to NATO

  • 19 Jun. 2023 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 19 Jun. 2023 14:25

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Monday (19 June 2023), in order to prepare for the Alliance’s upcoming Vilnius Summit.

Press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz

The two leaders discussed support to Ukraine as it pursues a counteroffensive against Russia’s occupying forces. “The more land the Ukrainians are able to liberate, the stronger their hand will eventually be at the negotiating table,” Mr. Stoltenberg said, adding: “we all want this war to end, but a just peace cannot mean freezing the conflict and accepting a deal dictated by Russia.” He further commended Germany for its leading role in providing military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and the recent decision to deliver more Patriot missiles. The Secretary General said that Allies would address Ukraine’s membership aspirations at the Vilnius Summit, noting that Allies are working on a multi-year package of assistance for Ukraine, and are working to establish a new NATO-Ukraine Council to jointly consult on security issues of mutual concern.

Secretary General Stoltenberg and Chancellor Scholz also addressed bolstering NATO’s deterrence and defence. “We are now putting in place new regional plans, with assigned forces and capabilities, and high levels of readiness,” the Secretary General said, welcoming that Germany will play a major role in this effort. Mr Stoltenberg also welcomed Germany's first-ever national security strategy, which confirms strong commitment to NATO, and Berlin’s leadership in establishing a new NATO Maritime Centre for the Security of Critical Undersea Infrastructure. On defence investment, the Secretary General said: “at the NATO Summit in Vilnius, we will agree on a more ambitious defence investment pledge, with 2 percent of GDP as a floor, not a ceiling. I strongly welcome Germany's historic commitment to reach 2 percent in 2024.”

The Secretary General and the Chancellor also discussed the situation in Kosovo. “NATO’s commitment to our United Nations mandate is unwavering. KFOR will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities in Kosovo… We call on all parties to stop any further escalatory steps and to return immediately to the dialogue facilitated by the European Union,” said Mr Stoltenberg.

The Secretary General also met  Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, and is taking part in the Federation of German Industries (BDI)’s Day of Industry. 

On Tuesday, Mr Stoltenberg will travel to Jagel Air Base with German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius to visit exercise Air Defender 2023, the largest air deployment exercise in NATO’s history.