Opening remarks

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Defence Ministers’ session, with Invitees Finland and Sweden

  • 15 Feb. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 15 Feb. 2023 10:09

(As delivered)

Good morning.

Welcome to all of you. Welcome to this second day of NATO’s Defense Ministerial meeting.

President Putin's war of aggression in Ukraine is the biggest security crisis in Europe since the Second World War.

NATO and Allies stand in solidarity with Ukraine.

And we are providing unprecedented assistance.

At the same time, we are strengthening our deterrence and defence.

Putting 40,000 troops under NATO command in the eastern part of the Alliance.

With significant air and maritime assets.

And doubling the number of battlegroups from four to eight.

Today, we will approve the new Political Guidance for Defence Planning.

It will be a key driver of change for the next few years. To ensure we have the capabilities necessary for a credible deterrence and defence.

We will also address ways to enhance our defense industrial capacity, as we look to increase our production of armaments and ammunition.

And we will take steps to strengthen the protection of our critical infrastructure, including under-sea cables and pipelines.

All of this requires resources.

So we will also address how we can maintain and step up defense spending across the Alliance.

 So I thank the media for joining us at the top of that meeting and we will continue in just a moment.

Thank you so much.