Press conference

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following a meeting of the North Atlantic Council with the National Security Advisers and Hybrid Points of Contact

  • 28 May. 2019 -
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  • Last updated: 28 May. 2019 17:34

(As delivered)

Press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following a North Atlantic Council meeting with National Security Adviser

Good afternoon.

We have just finished a meeting with National Security Advisers and other senior officials.
This meeting was the first of its kind at NATO.

We reviewed what we are doing to counter hybrid threats.
And we discussed what more we need to do.

We discussed ways to improve our situational awareness, through better intelligence and information sharing.

The very nature of hybrid threats is that they are disguised and deniable.
So we have to ensure we can detect them.

Good intelligence is good deterrence.
And NATO’s new Intelligence Division is already increasing our situational awareness.

We also addressed the need to strengthen the resilience of national critical infrastructure.
Such as telecommunications networks, 5G, under-sea cables, and space assets.

And we will revise NATO guidelines for the protection of our critical infrastructure, including telecommunication infrastructure.

We are now also working on an overarching space policy, another first for NATO.
And next month, I expect NATO defence ministers will adopt our new space policy.

We are boosting our cyber defences, including with a new Cyberspace Operations Centre.

We see more frequent and complex cyber-attacks against our networks, which is why it is so important we continue to strengthen our cyber defences.

We also discussed how we can better support Allies.
We already have teams of experts ready to deploy to help Allies that request assistance in the face of hybrid and cyber attacks.

Allies underscored the importance of stepping up our training and exercises to better prepare for hybrid threats.
And today Allies shared their national experiences and best practices.

The strengthening of our collective defence is also important.

We have undertaken the biggest reinforcement since the Cold War.
We have greater readiness, including for our special operations forces.
And we have increased our military mobility.
All this is important to deal with hybrid threats. 

Sir Julian King, the EU Commissioner for the Security Union, outlined the tools that the European Union has at its disposal.
NATO’s cooperation with the EU is important because hybrid is not just a military threat.
We have seen a pattern of cyber-attacks against our countries.
Disinformation campaigns.
And attempts to interfere in our democracies.
Many of our countries have suffered from different types of hybrid attacks.

In isolation, we may not always be able to see the connections, the trends and the patterns.
But together, we can connect the dots, and see the bigger picture.
And together, we have the full range of tools to address these challenges. 

NATO must remain prepared for both conventional and hybrid threats:
From tanks to tweets.

Thank you.