NATO Secretary General in New York: supporting Ukraine is in our security interest
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg participated in the Russell C. Leffingwell Lecture at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Thursday (21 September 2023). In his conversation with former US Representative Jane Harman, Mr Stoltenberg highlighted that his main message at the UN General Assembly was the importance of maintaining strong support for Ukraine.
“To support Ukraine is something we do because it is in our security interest, to ensure that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign independent nation,” the Secretary General said, emphasising that NATO supports the right of every nation to choose its own path.
Mr Stoltenberg said that the war in Ukraine demonstrates how security is not regional, but global. “That is also why countries like South Korea and Japan are extremely concerned about the war in Ukraine, because they know that if President Putin wins, it lowers the threshold for President Xi to use force,” said the Secretary General. Mr Stoltenberg further underlined the importance of NATO’s ongoing adaptation to address new challenges, including the impact of climate change on our security.
While in New York, the Secretary General attended the opening session of the UN General Assembly high-level General Debate, and met with a number of world leaders. On Monday, he met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss efforts to revitalise the Black Sea grain deal, the fight against terrorism, and Sweden’s NATO membership. On Wednesday, he met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to discuss the importance of continued support to Ukraine and NATO’s efforts to address the security impacts of climate change. He also met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, commending the courage of the Ukrainian armed forces and reaffirming NATO’s commitment to support Ukraine for as long as it takes. He further met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani to discuss the continued importance of NATO Mission Iraq – the Alliance’s capacity-building and advisory mission in the country.
While in New York, Mr Stoltenberg also met other leaders and senior officials including UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Jasem al-Budaiwi.