NATO Secretary General meets with EU Defence Ministers

Doorstep statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council

It’s a pleasure to be in Brest, and I’m looking forward to meet EU Defence Ministers.

NATO-EU cooperation is as strong as ever, and this is important, to have the close cooperation between NATO and the EU….

NATO-EU cooperation is as strong as ever, and this is important, to have the close cooperation between NATO and the EU, when we face critical times for European security as we do now.

I’m coming straight from the NATO-Russia Council meeting in Brussels, where 30 NATO Allies met with Russia. And I will brief the EU ministers on those discussions. We had difficult discussions with Russia….And of course also for NATO Allies to protect and defend all Allies, including Allies in the eastern part of our Alliance.

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I think also what we have seen today is that NATO is a unique platform bringing North America and Europe together. Around the table today we had 30 Allies, 28 of them are European NATO Allies, sitting at the table, discussing directly with Russia on issues that are of great importance for European security.

We are ready for dialogue, but we are clear-eyed about the prospects, also the risks of renewed armed conflict in Europe. Because we see the Russian military build-up….

So we sent a clear message to Russia that if they once again decide to use force against Ukraine, it will have severe consequences for Russia. It will be a big strategic mistake of Russia. And NATO Allies, EU, and many others have declared clearly that they will impose severe sanctions on Russia. And NATO continues to stand in solidarity with all our Allies, of course, but we also continue to provide support to Ukraine, political and practical support.