Press statement

by the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg together with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen ahead of the meeting at the College of European Commissioners

  • 11 Jan. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 11 Jan. 2023 10:28

(As delivered)

Thank you so much, Ursula.
It's a great pleasure to be back and to again be able to meet with the College of Commissioners, it's really a pleasure to have this opportunity for the second time.
Our partnership, the partnership between the European Union and NATO is more important than ever because Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has fundamentally changed our security.

In recent days, we have seen fierce fighting around Bakhmut and Soledar in eastern Ukraine.
This shows once again the bravery of Ukrainian forces as they fight to defend their homeland.
It also shows how vital it is that we step up our support, our military support to Ukraine.

I therefore welcome the recent announcements by the United States, France and Germany that they will soon deliver infantry fighting vehicles and light tanks
And unprecedented support by all NATO allies and EU Member States.
Our support makes a real difference on the ground.
And at this key juncture of the war, we must do even more, even faster.

From the start of the conflict, NATO and the European Union has stood with Ukraine and have stood together.
Just yesterday, we signed a new joint declaration.
You and I, Ursula and the President of the European Council Charles Michel.
This will take the partnership between NATO and the European Union to a new level.

In a world of growing geopolitical competition, we will address new areas, such as emerging and disruptive technologies, space and the security impact of climate change.
Resilience and the protection of critical infrastructure are a key part of our joint efforts, as we have seen both with President Putin’s weaponising of energy, and as you mentioned, Ursula, the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines.

So we have agreed to create a NATO-EU taskforce on resilience and critical infrastructure.
We want to look together at how to make our critical infrastructure, technology and supply chains more resilient to potential threats, and to take action to mitigate potential vulnerabilities.
This will be an important step in making our societies stronger and safer.

So then Ursula, thank you again for your invitation.
And thank you for your strong commitment to strengthening the partnership, the cooperation between the European Union and NATO.
Thank you.