NATO Secretary General in Berlin: Germany makes major contributions to our shared security

  • 26 Apr. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 26 Apr. 2024 17:36

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Friday (26 April 2024), thanking him for Germany’s leading role in NATO and its support to Ukraine. “Germany makes major contributions to our shared security,” said Mr Stoltenberg.

Joint press statements by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz

The Secretary General welcomed that Germany is strengthening its presence in the eastern part of the Alliance by deploying a brigade to Lithuania; its contributions to Baltic Air Policing; and the fact that Germany has committed 12,000 troops to Steadfast Defender, the largest NATO exercise since the Cold War. He further praised the Chancellor’s “historic and very important Zeitenwende” for leading to major increases in defence spending. “The fact that Germany now invests 2% of GDP in defence matters for all Allies,” he said.

Mr Stoltenberg also pointed to the importance of German leadership on support to Ukraine, noting that Germany is the biggest European contributor of military aid. He thanked Germany for its decision to send a third Patriot system to Ukraine, adding: “I strongly believe that other Allies should follow the example of Germany.” The Secretary General welcomed that other Allies have stepped up with new decisions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. “It is our responsibility to turn these contributions into deliveries quickly,” he said.

"We must also remain vigilant regarding covert Russian activities across the Alliance," said Mr Stoltenberg. He noted that Germany has arrested individuals accused of espionage and sabotage, and that UK authorities have charged five individuals in connection with hostile state activity to benefit Russia. “NATO Allies stand in full solidarity with Germany and the United Kingdom,” he said. He added: “such acts are dangerous and unacceptable. They will not deter us from providing support to Ukraine, and we are coordinating closely in our response to any hostile act against NATO Allies.”

Earlier on Friday, the Secretary General met with parliamentarians from the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Defence Committee of the German Bundestag. On Thursday, the Secretary General received the Eric M. Warburg Award from the Atlantik-Brücke in Berlin. Mr Stoltenberg also visited the 73 Tactical Air Wing at Laage Air Base, where he flew in a German Eurofighter.