by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with the US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken at the start of the Extraordinary meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs
Secretary Blinken, dear Tony,
Welcome to NATO Headquarters.
It is great to have you back here.
And thank you for your tremendous leadership.
And for your tireless efforts in this critical time for our security.
Later on today, NATO Foreign Ministers will meet, and coordinate, and consult on our response to the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, and also the longer-term implications.
We condemn the attacks on civilians.
And over the night, we have also seen reports about the attack against the nuclear power plant.
This just demonstrates the recklessness of this war and the importance of ending it.
And the importance of Russia withdrawing all its troops and engaging in good faith in diplomatic efforts.
NATO Allies have implemented unprecedented sanctions.
We provide support to Ukraine.
At the same time, NATO is not part of the conflict.
NATO is a defensive Alliance.
We don't seek war, conflict with Russia.
At the same time, we need to make sure that there is no misunderstanding about our commitment to defend and protect all Allies.
And therefore, we have increased the presence of NATO forces in the eastern part of the Alliance.
This is a defensive presence.
And I welcome the strong commitment from the United States with more troops.
I met many of them. And it is always great to meet US troops in Europe and to see their commitment, and their professionalism, being part of the transatlantic bond.
I also welcome that European Allies and Canada are stepping up with more presence in the eastern part of the Alliance, on land, at sea and in the air.
If anything, I think the crisis we are faced with now demonstrates the importance of North America standing together in strategic solidarity in NATO.
So once again, Tony, welcome.
It's great to see you here.