NATO stresses unity as foreign ministers wrap up summit

Image: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP Photo/picture alliance

The US and Europe still need each other, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told DW as the alliance marks its 75-year anniversary. Meanwhile, Ukraine appealed to members of the alliance for more air defense systems.

NATO foreign ministers ended their two-day meeting in Brussels on Thursday as the alliance marks its 75th anniversary.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said discussions were underway to secure the long-term viability of the military alliance.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock described NATO as a “central anchor of security” in Europe.

Ukraine was also on the agenda, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterating his country’s “rock-solid” support for Kyiv. He also expressed support for a pathway for Ukraine to eventually join the bloc.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin said Russia and NATO were now in “direct confrontation” amid a deteriorating security situation.

US is stronger with NATO, Stoltenberg tells DW

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has rejected suggestions that some lawmakers in the United States are turning their backs to the military alliance.

“The US is stronger with NATO than without NATO. There’s a strong bipartisan support for NATO in in the United States,” Stoltenberg said in an interview with DW’s Alexandra von Nahmen in Brussels.

“And we have to remember that the criticism from former President Donald Trump and also from others in the United States has not been mainly against NATO. It has been against NATO allies not paying enough for NATO.”

Trump faced  a fresh wave of condemnation from world leaders in February when he said he would encourage Russia “to do whatever the hell they want” to NATO members that don’t meet their financial obligations.

Although many NATO members have increased their military expenditure in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, less than half of them have met or exceeded the bloc’s agreement for members to allocate 2% of their gross domestic product for defense.

“The good news is that NATO allies, including Germany and many others, are now really stepping up and investing more in defense,” Stoltenberg told DW.

The NATO chief said ministers from member states have been discussing a plan to shift to longer-term funding commitments, and that he expected to have an announcement at the NATO summit in July.

Courtesy of DW