NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called for closer cooperation between NATO and the European Union to address common security challenges the two organisations face, during his first meeting with EU Defence Ministers on Tuesday (18 November 2014). “The European Union is an essential and strong partner of NATO. We share the same values, we share many common members and we also share common challenges to the East and to the South,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.
During the meeting, the Secretary General said NATO and the EU had to deal with threats from wherever they come. He condemned Russia’s continued aggression in Ukraine, saying “Russia is still destabilising Ukraine. We see the movement of troops, of equipment, of tanks, of artillery, and also advanced air defence systems, and this is in violation of the ceasefire agreements.” Mr Stoltenberg called on Russia to take concrete steps toward resolving the crisis. “We call on Russia to pull back its forces from Eastern Ukraine and to respect the Minsk Agreements. Both the EU and NATO strongly want a peaceful solution to the crisis in Ukraine,” he said.
The Secretary General stressed that the EU and NATO are united in their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, adding that like the EU, NATO supports the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements and the work of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine. “Especially in times like this, it is important to be coordinated, to work together and to stand together,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.
Reporter Section NATO