Speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at an event co-organised by the Norwegian Atlantic Committee – ATA Norway (DNAK) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, 30 May 2023.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke in Oslo on Tuesday (30/05/2023) at an event co-organised by our ATA member – the Norwegian Atlantic Committee and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.

SecGen Oslo

The Secretary General said that “President Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine marks the end of the world as we knew it,“ stressing that “what we choose to do and choose not to do now will determine what the world will look like for decades to come.” He noted that NATO Allies have provided significant and decisive military contributions, and he expects that there will be more announcements and new decisions in the run-up to and at the Vilnius Summit in July. NATO is currently working on a multi-year assistance program for Ukraine, to help them transition from the old Soviet-era to the modern NATO standards and equipment, and help Ukraine get closer to NATO. “We must not allow President Putin to continue to chip away at European security, and for this, we need a framework that ensures Ukraine’s long-term security,” Mr. Stoltenberg said, adding, “I cannot anticipate the outcome of the discussions, but what is clear is that all NATO allies agree that NATO’s door is open; everyone agrees that Ukraine will become a member; and everyone agrees that it is Ukraine and NATO member states that decide, not Russia. But the most important thing right now is that we make sure Ukraine prevails. That is our most important task. Otherwise, there will be no future to discuss.”

Mr. Stoltenberg also made clear that the Vilnius Summit will further strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence. He said NATO leaders will agree on detailed plans for the defence of Allied countries. Setting out precise requirements for what capabilities individual Allies must provide and what forces are required. He stressed that, “all this is part of the transformation and strengthening of NATO that has been underway since 2014 – restructuring NATO over the past decade, to prepare NATO for the next decade.” In Vilnius, he said, “we must put in place a stronger commitment to NATO’s two percent target. Two percent should no longer be a ceiling we aim for, but a floor we build on, a minimum.”

The Secretary General spoke on the eve of the Informal Meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Oslo on 31 May-01 June. The event was opened by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.