Opening remarks

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the start of the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of NATO Defence Ministers

  • 26 Oct. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 26 Oct. 2016 15:17

(As delivered)

Good afternoon.

It is a pleasure to welcome you all to this meeting of NATO’s Defence Ministers in the North Atlantic Council.

And in particular I would like to express a special welcome to my new Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller.  And I really look forward to work with you in the coming months and years.

And you bring to the table a lot of experience in many different fields and areas, but especially when it comes to arms control and relations with Russia and that is something we really look forward to work on together with you.

In an unpredictable world, collective defence remains the Alliance’s highest responsibility.

And at our Summit in Warsaw in July, we took decisions to strengthen our ability to defend Allies against any threat, from any direction.  Today, we will assess the progress in implementing those decisions.  Including:

Plans to deploy four multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

More presence in the Black Sea region.

Continuing improvements to NATO’s ability to reinforce, and to move quickly in times of crisis.

And strengthening Allied cyber defences.

We will also today discuss recent Russian military activity close to NATO borders.

As an Alliance, we face a series of complex challenges.

But by working together, we are making progress in tackling them.

And as always, our response is defensive, proportionate and fully in line with our international obligations.

That concludes the public part of this meeting.

I thank the media for their presence and I hope that you have a nice day.