by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US President Joe Biden at the start of the 2022 NATO Summit

  • 29 Jun. 2022 -
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  • Last updated: 29 Jun. 2022 13:11

(As delivered)

US President Biden:

Dear Jens, thank you very much for having me this morning and, you know we’ve got a big agenda.

Great to be with you to kick-off the…I think it is a history-making Summit, and we talked about this for a year. And now we're here. Our meeting is today.

We're going to approve a new NATO Strategic Concept and reaffirm the unity and determination of our Alliance to defend every inch of NATO territory.

And Article Five is sacrosanct. We mean it when we say “an attack against one is an attack against all”, every inch. And so, at this Summit, the full Alliance is going to welcome Finland and Sweden.

An historic application for membership and their decision to move away from neutrality, tradition of neutrality, to join the NATO Alliance. This is going to make us stronger and more secure, and NATO, stronger.

We're sending an unmistakable message, in my view, and I think yours as well, that NATO is strong, united, and the steps we're taking during this Summit are going to further augment our collective strength.

To that end, today, I'm announcing the United States will enhance our force posture in Europe and respond to the changed security environment, as well as strengthening our collective security.

Earlier this year, we surged 20,000 additional US forces to Europe to bolster our Alliance in response to Russia’s aggressive move, bringing our force total in Europe to 100,000.

We're going to continue to adjust our posture based on the threat, in close consultation with our Allies.

Here in Spain, we're going to work with our Allies to increase US Navy destroyers stationed in Spain's Rota naval base, from four to six destroyers.

In Poland, we're going to establish a permanent headquarters the US Fifth Army Corps and strengthening US-NATO interoperability across the entire eastern flank.

We're going to maintain additional rotational brigade, which is 3000 fighters and another 2000 personnel, combat team here in Europe, headquartered in Romania.

And we're going to enhance our rotational deployments in the Baltic states.

And we're going to send two additional F-35 squadrons to the UK, and station additional air defence and other capabilities in Germany and in Italy.

And together our Allies, we're going to make sure that NATO is ready to meet threats from all directions, across every domain: land, air and the sea.

And the moment when Putin has shattered peace in Europe, and attacked the very, very tenants of the rules-based order, the United States and our Allies, we're going to step up.

We're stepping up, proving that NATO is more needed now than it ever has been. And it's as important as ever has been.

So I want to thank you, Jens, for leading the Alliance through this crisis and for your work to strengthen NATO for all the challenges that lie ahead.

And I genuinely look forward to our discussions.

And again, thank you for your leadership. It's important.

Secretary General:

Thank you so much, President Biden, dear Joe. 

It's really good to see you here in Madrid, so soon after we met in the White House in Washington. 

And thank you for your personal leadership and the US commitment to NATO, to European security, demonstrated by the announcements you’ve just made to further increase US presence in Europe.

And this really demonstrates your decisive leadership in strengthening the transatlantic bond. 

And we also see that in the unwavering support from you and from the United States to Ukraine. 

That will be a main issue at the Summit today. We'll meet with President Zelenskyy, he will address the Summit. 

And as you said, this will be an historic Summit. It will be a transformative Summit, where we'll make decisions that will actually change this Alliance for many years to come.

We will agree a new Strategic Concept, the blueprint for NATO into the future, more dangerous world, a more competitive world. 

We will agree the biggest overhaul of our collective defence and deterrence since the end of the Cold War. And US is of course very much part of that. 

And then, we will invite Finland and Sweden to join NATO. And that demonstrates that NATO’s door is open. 
It demonstrates that President Putin has not succeeded in closing NATO’s door. 

He's getting the opposite of what he wants. 
He wants less NATO. President Putin is getting more NATO while Finland Sweden are joining our Alliance. 

We will agree a Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine. 

And then I also welcome the fact that we are able now to state that actually European Allies and Canada are stepping up with more troops, higher readiness, and also increase defence spending. 
Figures show that they have added 350 billion extra US dollars for defence since we made the pledge back in 2014. 

So, all in all, this demonstrates unity and the strength of our Alliance. 

Thank you.

US President Biden:

I was asked about this, about Finland and Sweden when each of their leaders came to the White House.

And I said Putin was looking for the Finlandisation of Europe and you're gonna get the NATOisation of Europe.

And that's exactly what he didn't want, but it’s exactly what needs to be done to guarantee security for Europe, and I think it's necessary and I'm looking forward to it happening in some way.

Secretary General: Thank you. Thank you.