Opening remarks

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with Sweden

  • 16 Jun. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 16 Jun. 2023 09:19

(As delivered)

Good morning and welcome to this meeting of NATO Defence Ministers.

With President Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine, we face the most serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security for a generation.

We currently have over 40,000 troops under direct NATO command.
With many more on high alert.
All backed by significant air and maritime assets.
And we have doubled the number of multinational battlegroups from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

Today we will prepare the ground for the NATO Summit in Vilnius, where Leaders will take decisions to further strengthen our deterrence and defence.

We will review our updated plans for the defence of Europe,
We will take steps to ensure our industrial base can meet higher demand,
And we will develop a new, more ambitious defence investment pledge which I expect will set 2% of GDP as a minimum to invest in defence.

This concludes the public part of our meeting.
I thank the media for being here at the top of the meeting.