NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with the new President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, at the headquarters of the Council in Brussels on Wednesday (3 December 2014). The meeting took place only a few days into Mr. Tusk’s new mandate.
Mr. Stoltenberg stressed that NATO and the EU share 22 members, as well as the same values and challenges, to the east and to the south. The two leaders discussed Russia’s continued destabilisation of Ukraine and their impact on Euro-Atlantic stability. The Secretary General said, “Russia has violated fundamental principles. That borders cannot be changed by force. Disputes should be settled by talks, not by tanks. And the era of spheres of influence is over. Those principles are the basis of the peaceful Europe we have built for two decades – together with Russia.”
Mr. Stoltenberg stated that a strong NATO ensures stability in Europe, and a stronger Europe also contributes to a strong NATO. He underlined the importance of continued close cooperation for a stronger defence, and mentioned the European Council next year as a “crucial stepping-stone.” He called for NATO and the European Union to continue to work in mutually reinforcing ways, “so that in a dangerous world, we can and must be stronger together.”