Opening remarks

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the joint press point with the President of Romania, Klaus Werner Iohannis

  • 02 Jul. 2015 -
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  • Last updated 06-Jul-2015 08:40

Joint press point with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of Romania, Klaus Werner Iohannis

Thank you Mr President Iohannis Werner Klaus.

It is really great to be here and to meet with you.

Thank you for your warm welcome, also thank you for our excellent discussions.

As you said we met in Brussels at the NATO Headquarters in January and then we met just a few days ago at the European Council.

And now we meet again here.

And I think this is really an expression of how we now are developing our cooperationship and I appreciate this very much. 

Romania is a steadfast Ally.

NATO counts on Romania.

And Romania can count on NATO.  

We value Romania’s continued strong engagement in our missions and operations. From Afghanistan to Kosovo.

You contribute to our efforts to support our partners: the republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia.

And you contribute to the stability in the Black Sea, which remains an important component of Euro-Atlantic security. 

And you are hosting an important part of the NATO missile defence system.

You have made difficult economic decisions which have cut the deficit, encouraged economic growth and enabled Romania to invest more in defence.

And you have made a political commitment to raise defence spending to 2 percent of GDP by 2017.

And for all these I commend you, because this is important for Romania that you are investing more in defence.

But I am also going to use Romania as an example for other Allies, showing them and telling them that Romania has been able to both reduce deficite, to conduct responsible fiscal policy, and at the same time increase defence spending, combined with a strong economic growth.

So it is fully possible to both increase spending and at the same time conduct responsible fiscal policy.

All of these contributions of Romania to our Alliance contributes to keeping NATO strong.

And this is important in a time when we really need a strong NATO. And strong solidarity in NATO. 

Because the world has changed.

We see a more assertive Russia, trying to intimidate neighbours and change borders by force.

Growing extremism and turmoil across the Middle East and North Africa.

And challenges that know no borders, such as cyber attacks and energy disruptions. 

To keep our nations safe, we are now implementing the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War.

We have further increased the strength and capability of the NATO Response Force, which will consist of up to 40,000 personnel.

We are speeding up political and military decision-making.

And we are setting up the NATO Force Integration Units in six countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and of course here in Romania. 

And I really look forward to visiting this unit in Bucharest later today together with you, Mr President.

This will not be a military base.

It is a small headquarters, with around 40 people.

From Romania and from other NATO member states. 

They will play a key role in planning, exercises and assisting potential reinforcements.

Romania will also host the Multinational Divisional Headquarters South-East, another important contribution to our collective defence.

These measures are defensive.

NATO does not seek confrontation with anyone. But we will do what is necessary to keep our countries safe.

And we will defend all Allies against any threat, from the east or from the south.

We will take further steps in adapting NATO at our Summit in Warsaw next year. 

And the President and I, we disussed this longer term adaptation of NATO, because it is of great importance for the whole of the Alliance.

So Mr President, thank you for your strong personal commitment to our Alliance.

And I look forward to continuing to work closely with you in the future.

Thank you.


JENS STOLTENBERG (NATO Secretary General):  Let me start by underlining that we don't see any immediate threat against any NATO Ally.  At the same time, it is very important for me to underline also that the Article 5 - the security guarantees in the NATO Treaty, the founding act of NATO covers the whole territory of all NATO Allies, including the territorial waters and the airspace.  So NATO stands ready to defend all Allies against any threat. And this, of course, applies both for the land but also airspace and territorial waters.

And I can just also share with you my own experience as a Norwegian politician.  Norway shares a very long border in the sea, the limitation line the Polar Sea and the Barents Sea.  And we also have a border in the airspace with Russia.  And of course, the NATO security guarantees also covers the territory... not only the land territory but also airspace and territorial waters.


JENS STOLTENBERG:  Greece is a staunch Ally. And Greece is a committed Ally inside the NATO Alliance.  And I count on Greece also in the future and the Government of Greece and the different ministers in the Greek Government have underlined several times that they stand by their commitments in the Alliance.  This is good for Greece and this is good for NATO. Of course, we are concerned about the fiscal crisis and the debt crisis which Greece is facing.  And we follow very closely the efforts by the European Union and the Euro Zone countries to solve these problems.

I think it's important that I, as Secretary General of NATO, leave this to the European Union and to the Euro Zone countries to solve this crisis and these challenges and these problems. What I can say that I hope it is possible to find a solution; because that would be good for Greece.  It would be good for Europe. And it would be good for NATO. So I hope that it's possible to find a solution; even if there are big problems right now.