NATO Secretary General at World Economic Forum: “support for Ukraine is not charity; it’s an investment in our own security”
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg participated in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday (16 January 2024), underlining the importance of continued support to Ukraine.
While acknowledging that the battlefield situation is “extremely difficult”, with the Russians “now pushing on many frontlines”, Mr Stoltenberg underlined that “there is also cause for optimism”. He pointed to Ukraine’s impressive achievements in liberating territory; opening a corridor for grain export in the Black Sea; and overall its survival as a sovereign, independent nation. Conversely, he said that “Russia has lost what they wanted to achieve with the war, and that was to control Ukraine”; Ukrainians are now firmly oriented to the West, aspiring for membership in NATO and the European Union. The Secretary General also stressed that “support for Ukraine is not charity; it’s an investment in our own security”. Pointing to the increasingly global nature of security, Mr Stoltenberg noted that close NATO partners Japan and South Korea are also concerned about Russia’s war against Ukraine, as a victory for President Putin would increase the likelihood of Beijing using force elsewhere.
The Secretary General spoke at a panel on “Securing an Insecure World” alongside Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Nigerian Foreign Minister Yusuf Tuggar, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, and US Senator Chris Coons. The discussion was moderated by the President of the World Economic Forum, Børge Brende.
Earlier in the day, the Secretary General participated in a dialogue between political leaders, CEOs and other officials to discuss the role of the global private and public sectors in Ukraine’s long-term reconstruction, alongside President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
While in Davos, the Secretary General will also address a closed-door session of the International Business Council. He is also holding meetings with a number of world leaders, including President Zelenskyy, Polish President Andrzei Duda, Swiss President Viola Amherd, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani.