In a visit to Berlin on Thursday (9 November 2023), Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Chancellor Olaf Scholz for Germany’s major contributions to NATO and strong support for Ukraine.
Mr Stoltenberg welcomed that Germany has stepped up at a critical moment for European security and allocated troops for the defence of Europe, including a NATO brigade stationed in Lithuania and troops for the NATO battlegroup in Slovakia. The Secretary General praised Germany’s commitment to invest 2 percent of GDP in defence by next year, adding that “sustaining this level of investment will be a game-changer for our collective defence.” He also welcomed Germany’s strong leadership in the domain of cyber defence.
The Secretary General addressed Russia’s withdrawal from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, noting that Russia has now walked away from every arms control treaty. He said: “This is a pattern of reckless behaviour, and it makes the world more dangerous.” He affirmed that NATO remains fully committed to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, and called on Russia to play a responsible role.
The two leaders also discussed Russia’s ongoing brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. Mr Stoltenberg thanked Germany for providing critical support including Marder and Leopard tanks, IRIS-T air defences and munitions. He underlined the importance of giving the Ukrainians the weapons they need to stay strong on the battlefield, saying: “These contributions help Ukraine defend its freedom. And they help keep Europe safe.
Later today the Secretary General will deliver a speech at the first NATO Annual Cyber Defence Conference together with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
On 10 November, Mr Stoltenberg will meet German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius. He will also receive the American Academy of Berlin’s 2023 Henry A. Kissinger Prize for his contribution to transatlantic relations.