by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Annalena Baerbock
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg:
Minister Baerbock, dear Annalena,
Welcome to NATO.
It is great to see you again.
It is great to have you here on the second day of your office as the new foreign minister of Germany.
Congratulations so much on your appointment.
I really look forward to working with you.
Germany is a highly valued and very important Ally.
Your visit today, just one day after taking office, is a clear sign of Germany’s leading role in transatlantic security.
I strongly welcome the clear commitment of the new government to NATO as the indispensable foundation of Germany’s security.
NATO needs a strong Germany, both politically and militarily.
And your contributions really makes a difference for the Alliance and it helps to keep peace in Europe.
Including German contributions to air and maritime deployments.
Your leadership of NATO’s multinational battlegroup in Lithuania.
And your support for our peace-keeping mission in Kosovo.
Germany is also a strong voice advancing NATO’s arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation agenda.
Germany’s contributions to our shared security matters even more now, as we face increasingly complex challenges.
Including Russia’s military build-up in and around Ukraine.
I welcome Germany’s long-standing work in the Normandy format,
to promote a peaceful solution to the conflict.
And I welcome President Biden’s engagement with President Putin earlier this week.
Any future Russian aggression against Ukraine will be met with a strong response.
And will have serious political and economic consequences for Russia.
Since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, we have strengthened our deterrence and defence.
At the same time we remain open for dialogue with Russia, including through the NATO-Russia Council.
The offer to meet in the NATO-Russia Council is still on the table.
It is for Russia to respond in a positive way. So far, they have not done that.
But it is exactly when times are difficult that we need to sit down and talk.
In our meeting today we also discussed rising global competition.
While NATO does not see China as an adversary,
the Chinese government does not share our values.
And we have serious concerns about their coercive policies.
We also face other challenges.
Including hybrid and cyber attacks.
The persistent threat of terrorism.
And nuclear proliferation.
We share concerns over the security implications of climate change.
This is a defining challenge of our time.
And NATO is determined to adapt and mitigate the effects of global warming.
And I look forward, Annalena, to working with you on these issues.
NATO-EU cooperation is another priority for Germany, and for me.
We are planning to step up our cooperation even more.
And again, I am grateful for Germany’s commitment to enhancing cooperation between the two organisations.
The best response to a more unpredictable world is transatlantic unity.
So as we prepare for the next NATO Summit in Madrid next year, Europe and North America must continue to stand strong together in NATO.
Together, we can continue to protect our people and our values.
And preserve the rules-based international order.
I know that I can count on Germany to help to lead the way.
So Minister Baerbock, welcome once again.
I really look forward to working with you and congratulation once again on your appointment.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Annalena Baerbock:
Thank you Secretary General. Dear Jens.
It's good to see you again here in this quite impressive new buildings after we've met a couple of times in Berlin, also for me as a parliamentarian those days.
But being here with you today, it's really an honour, that we can meet directly at my start.
For us, it's pretty clear that NATO remains an indispensable pillar for the security in Europe.
We want to develop and strengthen the transatlantic alliance in the political field.
And in every other field.
We are living in challenging times, as we see those days.
The Russian troop development near Ukraine must concern us.
With a view to Ukraine itself but also with a view to our security in Europe.
Last week in Riga NATO set and sent a very clear message.
And I want to underline very firmly the new government fully maintains this commitment.
But I also want to say the tensions show how necessary would be to revive the NATO- Russian Council, and we are ready to do so.
Dear Jens. This was the first time today of many, many other conversations and meetings we will have in the future.
And I will look forward a lot to those meetings which are coming up the next day.
Thanks a lot that you took your time that I could be here today.