NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked German chancellor Olaf Scholz for his strong personal commitment to NATO and Germany’s leading role in the Alliance during a visit to Berlin on Thursday (17 March 2022).
Standing next to Chancellor Scholz ahead of talks that focussed on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Secretary General paid tribute to the Ukrainian people and their armed forces. “Their courage and determination are an inspiration to us all”, he said, reiterating that Ukraine has the right to defend itself. “I commend Germany for providing Ukraine with many different types of support – military, financial, and humanitarian” Mr Stoltenberg said, praising Germany for welcoming more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
In the wake of Russia’s invasion, NATO has reinforced its presence in the eastern part of the Alliance and Mr Stoltenberg welcomed the contribution made by Germany, citing the deployment of additional troops to Lithuania and fighter jets to Romania. “This is part of NATO’s swift, decisive, and united response to this fundamental change in our security”, he said.
Recalling that NATO Defence Ministers on Wednesday directed military commanders to draw up detailed options to further reinforce deterrence in the alliance’s eastern flank, the Secretary General stressed that new deployments will require major increases to defence spending by Allies. “Germany is leading the way”, the Secretary General said, citing the government’s decisions to increase defence spending to 2 percent of GPD and to purchase fifth generation fighter aircraft.
During his visit to Berlin, the Secretary General is also meeting with Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Finance Minister Christian Lindner.