Press conference

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House

  • 13 Jun. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 14 Jun. 2023 12:40

(As delivered)

Good afternoon.

I just finished a good meeting with the President Joe Biden.

We discussed the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius next month. And we, of course, agreed on the need to convey a very strong message that NATO Allies are there to provide support for Ukraine for as long as it takes.

And I praised the United States, President Biden and the US Congress for their strong commitment to the transatlantic alliance, to NATO, at this critical time for our security. And I also thanked the President for the very strong and substantial support to Ukraine, including the announcement he made today with more ammunition, more military equipment for Ukraine.

European Allies are also doing their part. Over the last weeks and months we have seen tens of billions of extra funding from European Allies and Canada for military support, for economic support. And the support NATO allies are now delivering to Ukraine is making a difference on the battlefield as we speak, because the Ukrainians have launched the offensive. It is still early days, but they are making progress, they are gaining ground. And the more ground the Ukrainians are able to gain, the stronger hand they will have around the negotiating table.

And we also know that the more advances the Ukrainians are able to make, the more likely it is that President Putin at some stage will understand that he will never win this war on the battlefield. The offensive is difficult. It's fierce fighting going on. That highlights the importance of NATO Allies continuing to provide support. And that's what I discussed with the President and also that will be the main message from the Vilnius Summit.

We also discussed the importance of burden sharing, Allies investing more in defence, and I expect that when we meet in Vilnius, we will agree a new defence investment pledge where 2% of GDP for defence will be a minimum for what Allies need to invest in our shared security. We addressed other issues for the Vilnius Summit, including how to make progress on ensuring that Sweden can become a member of the Alliance as soon as possible, and also how to strengthen our partnership with our Indo-Pacific partners.

Thanks so much. Thank you.