NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

11/25/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/25/2022 03:23

Pre-ministerial press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the meetings of NATO Foreign Ministers in Bucharest

Good morning.

NATO Foreign Ministers will meet next week in Bucharest.

We will address Russia's illegal war in Ukraine, which continues to threaten Euro-Atlantic peace and security.

President Putin is failing in Ukraine.
And he is responding with more brutality.

Waves of deliberate missile attacks on cities and civilian infrastructure.
Depriving Ukrainians of heat, light, and food.
This is a horrific start to the winter for Ukraine.

These are also tough times for the rest of Europe, and around the world.
With rising energy and food prices.

Yes, we are all paying a price for Russia's war against Ukraine.
But the price we pay is in money.
While the price Ukrainians pay is in blood.

And if we let Putin win, all of us will pay a much higher price, for many years to come.

If Putin and other authoritarian leaders see that force is rewarded,
they will use force again to achieve their goals.

That would make our world more dangerous.
And all of us more vulnerable.
So it is in our security interest to support Ukraine.

We need to remember what this war is about.

Russia is the aggressor.
Ukraine is the victim of aggression.
And of course, Ukraine has a right to defend itself.
We help Ukraine uphold that right.

There will be no lasting peace if the aggressor wins.
If oppression and autocracy prevail over freedom and democracy.

Most wars end with negotiations.
But what happens at the negotiating table depends on what happens on the battlefield.
Therefore, the best way to increase the chances for a peaceful solution is to support Ukraine.

So NATO will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.
We will not back down.

Allies are providing unprecedented military support.
And I expect foreign ministers will also agree to step up non-lethal support.

Through our Comprehensive Assistance Package, NATO has been delivering fuel, medical supplies, winter equipment, as well as drone jammers.

I thank Allies for their contributions.
And at our meeting in Bucharest, I will call for more.

Over the longer term we will help Ukraine transition from Soviet era equipment to modern NATO standards, doctrine and training.

We will meet with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to discuss Ukraine's most urgent needs and our long-term support.

We will also meet with the foreign ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Moldova.
Our three partners are facing Russian pressure in many different ways.
So at our meeting we will take further steps to help them protect their independence, and strengthen their ability to defend themselves.

NATO foreign ministers will also address ways to strengthen our resilience and the challenges posed by China.
China is not an adversary.
But it is stepping up military modernisation.
Increasing its presence from the Arctic to the Western Balkans,
From space to cyber space.
And seeking to control the critical infrastructure of NATO Allies.

The war in Ukraine has demonstrated our dangerous dependency on Russian gas.
So we must assess our dependencies on other authoritarian regimes, not least China.

We must manage the risks.
Reduce our vulnerabilities.
And increase our resilience.

The foreign ministers of Finland and Sweden will join us for all the discussions in Bucharest.
It is time to finalise their accession process and welcome them as full-fledged members of our Alliance.
This will make them safer, our Alliance stronger and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure.

With that, I am ready to take your questions.