Opening remarks

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Heads of State and Government, with Sweden

  • 11 Jul. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 11 Jul. 2023 14:32

(As delivered)

So once again, good afternoon, welcome to all of you at this NATO Summit. 
Many thanks to our host, Lithuania. 
And to you personally President Nauseda, dear Gitanas, for hosting all of us. 
Let me also welcome President Niinistö, who has been at many NATO Summits before, but this is the first NATO Summit where you actually attend as a full-fledged member, so welcome to you, Sauli.
And then also a warm welcome to Prime Minister Kristersson. Following the agreement yesterday, we will soon also be welcoming Sweden as a full-fledged member, so welcome to you. 
Today, we will make many decisions for an even stronger Alliance. 
We will increase our practical and political support to Ukraine. This will bring Ukraine closer to NATO, where it belongs.
We will also take bold steps to further strengthen our deterrence and defence, including new plans and forces for the defence of the Euro-Atlantic area. 
And we will agree a more ambitious defence investment pledge.
Let me now pass the floor to our host, to President Nauseda for his opening statement. 
Please, Gitanas, you have the floor.