by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the meetings of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels
So good afternoon.
Today and tomorrow, NATO's Defence Ministers will address a wide range of important security issues.
We will start by addressing Russia's violation of the INF Treaty, and NATO responses.
Russia still has the opportunity to save the INF Treaty, there is a window of opportunity. The deadline ends on the 2nd of August and we continue to call on Russia to come back into compliance with the Treaty. If they don't come back into compliance, we need to respond. So we also need to prepare for a world without the INF Treaty.
We will also, at our meeting, address the progress we are making on burden sharing. I will share with the ministers our latest figures, new figures for 2019, and they show that across Europe and Canada there is a real increase in defence spending of 3.9%. This comes on top of the increase we have seen over the last years, meaning that we now have 5 consecutive years of increase in defence spending across Europe and Canada. This is good progress, we have to make sure that this progress continues.
We will also address and discuss how we can continue to modernise the Alliance, including on deterrence and defence.
Space policy, adapt a first ever framework for NATO's space policy.
And also issues related to technology, disruptive emerging technologies and NATO's way to handle the challenges we see related to that.
We will also meet our Resolute Support partners, the partners that are together with us in Afghanistan. We are closer to a peace deal now than we have ever been before in Afghanistan. And all NATO Allies strongly support the peace efforts. And the best way to do that is to stay committed to Afghanistan, to continue to provide political support but also to continue to support the Afghan army and security forces with trainers and with funding.
And with that I'm ready to take your questions.