NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

12/01/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/01/2022 10:53

Joint press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Olaf Scholz

Chancellor Scholz, dear Olaf,
Thank you so much for hosting me here, thank you for the dinner yesterday, thank you for an excellent meeting today.

And not least, thank you for your leadership and your personal commitment to our transatlantic bond, to our NATO Alliance.

Russia's illegal war in Ukraine continues to cause death and misery every day.

As winter sets in, Russia is bombing Ukraine's energy infrastructure.
Trying to freeze and starve Ukrainians into submission.

Putin is using winter as a weapon.
And we cannot allow him to win.

At this critical moment, our continued support for Ukraine is more important than ever.

NATO is not party to the conflict.

We will not be dragged into Putin's war.

We stand by Ukraine in its right to self-defence, a right enshrined in the UN charter.
And I commend Germany for its leading role.

Germany is among the Allies providing most military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Military equipment provided by Germany protects Ukrainian homes, schools and hospitals from Russian missile attacks.

German arm deliveries save lives.
And NATO Allies are determined to sustain our support, so that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign independent state.

We know that our support for Ukraine comes at a cost.

Rising food and energy bills mean tough times for many.
But we pay the price in money.
While the Ukrainians pay in lives.

And if Putin wins, that would embolden authoritarian leaders to use force again
to achieve their goals.
That would make the world more dangerous.
And all of us more vulnerable.

So NATO's task is to support Ukraine.
And to prevent escalation of the war beyond Ukraine.

We do this by sending a clear message to Moscow that we will defend every Ally.

That is why we have stepped up our presence in the eastern part of the Alliance.

Germany is leading NATO's battlegroup in Lithuania.
Providing air defences in Slovakia.
And jets to patrol our skies from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

At this defining moment for European security, Germany's leadership is crucial.

Dear Olaf,
Your speech to the Bundestag in February was historic.
It was truly a turning point.

With the Zeitenwende, Germany has stepped up like never before.
In support of Ukraine.
And in defence of your NATO allies.

I strongly welcome your government's special 100 billion euro fund to invest in our shared security.

Providing funding for fifth-generation aircraft, new helicopters, new ships and many other critical capabilities.

As you mentioned, we also discussed the protection of undersea infrastructure.

Pipelines and cables on the seabed are arteries for our economies.
Transporting energy and transporting data.

The recent sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines has reminded us all of the vulnerability of this infrastructure.

In response, NATO has doubled the number of ships patrolling the North and the Baltic Seas.
And stepped up sharing of intelligence.

But we need to do more, to help protect this vital infrastructure.

So I welcome the German-Norwegian initiative to establish a NATO Undersea Infrastructure Centre.
Such a Centre would provide Allies with better situational awareness.
Map our vulnerabilities.
And help deter and recover from any disruptive actions against Allied undersea infrastructure.

Chancellor Scholz, dear Olaf.
Thank you once again for your strong support and for your commitment to our Alliance. Thank you so much.