NATO Secretary General addresses support to Ukraine with EU Defence Ministers
On Tuesday (23/05/2023), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg participated in a meeting of the European Union defence ministers in Brussels.
The Secretary General stated NATO Allies and partners are providing unprecedented support to Ukraine. He welcomed the announcement by the US, the UK and other European NATO Allies that they are going to start training Ukrainian pilots in fourth-generation fighter aircraft, including F-16s. He stressed that this is part of our long-term commitment to Ukraine’s ability to defend itself.
Mr. Stoltenberg called for even closer cooperation between NATO and the European Union to ramp up production of ammunition and defensive equipment, both to support Ukraine and to replenish our own stocks. He outlined NATO’s unique role in setting standards for all NATO Allies, providing a clear demand signal through the NATO defence capability targets, and engaging regularly with industry to identify bottlenecks. The Secretary General said that NATO is revising capability targets, especially for battle-decisive ammunition, giving industry the long-term demand signal it needs to invest. He also stressed the need to ensure that ammunition is interoperable and interchangeable, and that there are no new barriers between European and North American NATO Allies.
The Secretary General announced that NATO will hold an informal event with transatlantic industry leaders on the margins of the next meeting of defence ministers in Brussels on June 15-16, to which he has also invited EU High Representative Borrell, EU Commissioner Thierry Breton, and Ukrainian representatives.
The Secretary General also stressed the importance of NATO-EU cooperation on resilience and critical infrastructure, including through the joint taskforce.