NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg participated in a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union with EU Defence Ministers in Brussels on Tuesday (14 November 2023) to discuss the protection of critical undersea infrastructure and the importance of continued support to Ukraine.
The Secretary General stressed that the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines last year and the recent damage to the Balticconnector pipeline and cables show that infrastructure is vulnerable, and that threats are real and developing.
Since these incidents, NATO has stepped up air and naval patrols and increased presence in the Baltic and North Seas. At the Vilnius Summit in July, Allies agreed to establish a new centre on critical undersea infrastructure at NATO’s Maritime Command in the United Kingdom. NATO and the European Union have also established a task force on the resilience of critical infrastructure.
“Critical infrastructure is important, and it’s an area where we once again see the relevance and importance of cooperation between the NATO and the European Union,” said the Secretary General.
On the situation in Ukraine, Mr Stoltenberg highlighted that intense fighting continues.
“The situation on the battlefield is difficult. And that just makes it even more important that we sustain and step up our support for Ukraine because we cannot allow President Putin to win,” said the Secretary General. “Ukraine must prevail as a sovereign independent nation in Europe and it’s in our interest to support Ukraine,” he said.