NATO Secretary General meets with Federal Chancellor

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Berlin, 26 April, 2024

As part of his visit to Germany, the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, today met with the Federal Chancellor, Olaf Scholz at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin.

Addressing a joint press conference in Berlin,  the NATO Secretary General thanked Chancellor Scholz for Germany’s leading role in NATO and its support to Ukraine.

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“Germany makes major contributions to our shared security,” said Mr Stoltenberg.

The Secretary General observed that Germany was strengthening its presence in the eastern part of the Alliance by deploying a brigade to Lithuania; its contributions to Baltic Air Policing; and the fact that Germany had committed 12,000 troops to Steadfast Defender, the largest NATO exercise since the Cold War.

Stoltenberg further praised the Chancellor’s “historic and very important Zeitenwende” (Turning Point)  leading to major increases in defence spending. “The fact that Germany now invests 2% of GDP in defence matters for all Allies,” he said.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomes the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg/Photo Credit: AfricaNewsAnalysis/AM

The Secretary General also pointed to the importance of German leadership on support to Ukraine, noting that Germany was the biggest European contributor of military aid. He thanked Germany for its decision to send a third Patriot system to Ukraine, adding: “I strongly believe that other Allies should follow the example of Germany.”

The Secretary General welcomed that other Allies have stepped up with new decisions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. “It is our responsibility to turn these contributions into deliveries quickly,” he said.

“We must also remain vigilant regarding covert Russian activities across the Alliance,” said Mr Stoltenberg.

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He noted that Germany has arrested individuals accused of espionage and sabotage, and that UK authorities have charged five individuals in connection with hostile state activity to benefit Russia.

“NATO Allies stand in full solidarity with Germany and the United Kingdom,” he said. He added: “such acts are dangerous and unacceptable. They will not deter us from providing support to Ukraine, and we are coordinating closely in our response to any hostile act against NATO Allies.”

Earlier on Friday, the Secretary General met with parliamentarians from the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Defence Committee of the German Bundestag.

On Thursday, the Secretary General received the Eric M. Warburg Award from the Atlantik-Brücke in Berlin. Mr Stoltenberg also visited the 73 Tactical Air Wing at Laage Air Base, where he flew in a German Eurofighter.