Defence Ministers prepare for Washington Summit, by strengthening defences and bolstering support for Ukraine

  • 12 Jun. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 12 Jun. 2024 18:40

On Wednesday (12 June 2024) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg outlined the priorities for the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers on Thursday and Friday (13 and 14 June 2024).

Pre-ministerial press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

At a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council, “Allies will discuss how to ensure predictable support to Ukraine for the long haul,” Mr Stoltenberg said. Ministers are expected to approve a plan for NATO to lead the coordination of security assistance and training, “a key element for our package for Ukraine at the Washington Summit, along with a long-term financial commitment,” he added. Allies have provided 40 billion euros in military support to Ukraine each year. “We must maintain this level of support as a minimum, and for as long as it takes, to hasten the conclusion in Moscow that Russia cannot wait us out,” Mr Stoltenberg said.

Ministers will also address measures to continue strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defence. “Defence spending is on an upward trajectory across the Alliance,” the Secretary General highlighted. At the ministerial, Allies will make progress on a new Defence Industrial Pledge for leaders to approve in Washington to scale up military production and send a signal of long-term demand to industry. Ministers will also take decisions to ensure the required capabilities for NATO’s new defence plans, and they will discuss Russia’s intensifying campaign of hostile acts across NATO countries. The ministerial also includes a meeting of the Nuclear Planning Group, where Allies will discuss the ongoing adaptation of NATO’s nuclear capabilities.

Acknowledging the challenging security environment, Mr Stoltenberg reiterated NATO’s commitment to preserve peace, prevent coercion, and deter aggression. “We will bolster our support to Ukraine, we will strengthen our defences, and we will send a strong message of deterrence to our adversaries,” he concluded.