by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Munich Security Conference
It’s good to see you all.
I’m glad to be back here at the Munich Security Conference. It’s an important platform for defence and security issues. I am coming directly from the NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels where we addressed a wide range of pressing security issues including Russia’s continued violation of the INF Treaty. This Treaty is important because it has banned all intermediate-range land based systems in the whole world for decades. Russia’s violation is something which we take very seriously and all Allies continue to call on Russia to come back into compliance with the INF Treaty.
We also addressed burden-sharing in NATO, in the North Atlantic partnership and I welcome that fact that European Allies and Canada are stepping up. Since 2016 they’ve added 41 billion extra US dollars for defence spending and we expect that number to increase to 100 billion dollars by the end of next year.
I also had the pleasure of welcoming the Republic of North Macedonia at the table during the ministerial and it was great to welcome defence minister, deputy prime minister Radmila Shekerinska at the meeting, because now we have signed the accession protocol for North Macedonia. And therefore they are now participating in the meetings.
I think I’ll stop there and then I’m ready to take some questions.