In a visit to Berlin on Thursday (1 December 2022), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Chancellor Olaf Scholz for Germany’s strong support to Ukraine and its key contributions to NATO, including through its historic decision to substantially increase defence spending.
Mr Stoltenberg praised Germany for leading NATO’s multinational battlegroup in Lithuania and for deploying aircraft and air defences to protect Allies in NATO’s east. “At this defining moment for European security, Germany’s leadership is crucial,” he said. “With Zeitenwende, Germany has stepped up like never before.”Mr Stoltenberg welcomed the German-Norwegian initiative to establish a NATO centre to coordinate the protection of subsea infrastructure. “Such a Centre would provide Allies with better situational awareness, map our vulnerabilities and help deter and recover from any disruptive actions against Allied undersea infrastructure”, he said.
Addressing Russia’s war, the Mr Stoltenberg said he welcomed Germany’s strong support to Ukraine. “Military equipment provided by Germany protects Ukrainian homes, schools and hospitals from Russian missile attacks. German arms deliveries save lives.”. Acknowledging the economic cost of supporting Ukraine, Mr Stoltenberg stressed that it was a price worth paying. “If Putin wins, that would embolden authoritarian leaders to use force again to achieve their goals. That would make the world more dangerous and all of us more vulnerable”, he said.
During his visit, the Secretary General is also holding talks with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht. Earlier on Thursday, Mr Stoltenberg addressed the Berlin Security Conference. He also visited the Checkpoint Charlie Museum.