by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden at the White House

  • 17 Jun. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 17 Jun. 2024 23:13

(As delivered)

President Biden, dear Joe,

Thank you so much for your warm words.

And thank you so much for your personal commitment to NATO, to our transatlantic Alliance.

And also many thanks for hosting the NATO summit here in Washington D.C. next month.

At that summit we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the most successful alliance in history.

But also make important decisions for the future.

Not least on the issue and the importance of investing in our security.

And today, we are able to publish new figures for defence spending. 

They show that, across Europe and Canada, NATO Allies are, this year, increasing defence spending by 18 percent.

That’s the biggest increase in decades.

And 23 Allies are going to spend 2 percent of GDP or more on defence this year.

That’s more than twice as many as four years ago, and demonstrate that European Allies and Canada are really stepping up and taking their share of the common responsibility to protect all of us in the NATO Alliance. 

It is also important for the United States to know that a lot of this money is actually spent here in the United States.

Allies are buying more and more equipment from the US.  

So NATO is good for US security, but NATO is also good for US jobs.

Mister president, also thank you for your strong leadership on Ukraine and congratulations on the bilateral security agreement you signed with President Zelenskyy, with Ukraine.

European Allies are also stepping up and matching US contributions, military support to Ukraine.

And I expect that, when we meet here next month, we will agree to have NATO in the lead role in providing security assistance and training and also that Allies will agree to step up financial and military support to Ukraine.

This will reduce the burden on the United States and strengthen our support to Ukraine.

I think it is important to understand that the stronger our support for Ukraine is, the sooner this war can end, because the sooner President Putin will realise that he can not wait us out.

Support to Ukraine is not charity, support to Ukraine is in our own security interest.
And therefore, I welcome the strong commitment of all NATO Allies to continue to support Ukraine.

So once again, thank you so much. Thank you for once again hosting me here in the Oval Office and I look very much forward to the NATO Summit in Washington DC next month.

Thank you.