Doorstep statement

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the Informal meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Oslo, Norway

  • 01 Jun. 2023 -
  • |
  • Last updated 01 Jun. 2023 09:41

(As delivered)

Good morning,
It’s great to be back in Oslo and to chair a meeting of the NATO Foreign Ministers here at Oslo City Hall.

We have quite extensive agenda where we will address some issues as to prepare for the upcoming Vilnius Summit in July in Vilnius,
and not least we will discuss how to step up and sustain our support for Ukraine.

Over the last months, NATO Allies and partners have provided unprecedented level of support to Ukraine, helping them to retake and liberate Ukrainian territory.
We'll also discuss Ukraine's membership aspirations and all Allies agree that NATO’s door is open for new members.

All Allies also agree that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance and all Allies agree that it is for the NATO Allies and Ukraine to decide when Ukraine becomes a member.
It's not for Moscow to have a veto against NATO enlargement.
But most importantly, all Allies agree that the most urgent and important task now is to ensure that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign independent nation.

President Putin, Russia must not win this war.
We need to ensure that Ukraine prevails after this war.
And when the war ends, we need to ensure that history doesn't repeat itself, that this pattern of Russian aggression against Ukraine really stops and therefore, we need to have in place frameworks to provide guarantees for Ukrainian security after the end of the war, so history doesn't repeat itself.

We will also discuss other issues including deterrence and defence where we will make new important decisions at the Vilnius Summit.
And of course, this builds on the big adaptation that has taken place in NATO since 2014.
We have implemented the biggest enforcement of our collective defence in a generation and part of that will also be to address the need for increased defence spending.
Meaning that I expect that when the leaders meet and also on issues that will be discussed here today, we will make sure that 2% of GDP for defence is not a ceiling, something we strive towards, but it will be a floor, a minimum for what is needed to meet obligations as a NATO Ally.

We'll also address how to further strengthen our partnership with Indo Pacific partners, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, and then also expect many Allies or Allies to express strong support for Sweden, becoming a full member of the Alliance as soon as possible.
I spoke with President Erdoğan earlier this week.
And again, I always highlight the importance of making progress on the accession of Sweden.
And I will also travel to Ankara in the near future to continue to address how we can ensure the fastest possible accession of Sweden.

And with that I'm ready to take your questions.