NATO Secretary General pre-ministerial press conference, 14 JUN 2023

16.06.2023 • 1080p
Pre-ministerial press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the meetings of NATO Ministers of Defence, 14 June 2023. 🗣 | NATO Secretary General: Good afternoon. NATO Defence Ministers will meet this week to prepare our Summit in Vilnius next month. We meet as Ukraine is conducting a major counter-offensive. It is still early days. And we do not know if this will be a turning point of the war. But we see that the Ukrainians are making advances and liberating more land. We know that the more gains Ukraine makes, the stronger their hand will be at the negotiating table. The more gains Ukraine makes, the more likely it will be that President Putin realises he cannot win on the battlefield, but has to negotiate a just peace. The progress we see is a testament to the courage and commitment of the Ukrainian forces. It also demonstrates that the support provided by NATO Allies is making a real difference on the battlefield as we speak. We will start our ministerial with a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which will be preceded by the Ukraine Defence Contact Group, led by the United States. Together with Defence Minister Reznikov, we will address developments on the ground. And how to sustain our support. We will discuss a multi-year package of support, with substantial funding. To ensure Ukraine can defend itself for the longer-term. To transition from Soviet-era to NATO standards, and achieve full interoperability with NATO. And to reform and rebuild its security and defence sector. We must ensure that, when this war ends, there are credible arrangements in place for Ukraine’s security. So that history does not repeat itself. And so that Russia cannot rest, rearm and relaunch a fresh attack. At the Vilnius Summit, we will send a strong message of support and solidarity with Ukraine. And make clear that Ukraine’s future is in NATO. This week, Ministers will also address how to further strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence. With new regional plans to defend Allied territory, With forces and capabilities, and high levels of readiness. The regional plans require a new NATO force structure. This will provide well over 300,000 troops at high readiness. Backed by substantial air and naval power. We will also adapt our command and control arrangements. So that we can exercise the new regional plans. And put them into practice if necessary. I also expect ministers will agree to establish a new NATO Maritime Centre for the Security of Critical Undersea Infrastructure within our Maritime Command in the United Kingdom. The Centre will increase our situational awareness and enhance maritime presence for deterrence and defence. We are not starting from scratch. All of this work builds on the biggest adaptation of our collective defence in a generation. We started almost a decade ago, in response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. And we must continue to adapt at pace. At the ministerial, we will continue our long-standing engagement with the transatlantic defence industry. We have invited small, medium and large defence producers from across the Alliance to an informal event. This will enable Defence Ministers to discuss directly with industry how best to ramp up production, secure our supply chains, and remove barriers to cooperation. Ukraine and the European Union will also take part in the event. I expect that Defence Ministers will review a new Defence Production Action Plan, which learders will agree at the Summit in Vilnius. It aims to rapidly address shortfalls in our stocks. Building on 1 billion dollars in joint procurement just for 155-millimeter ammunition now underway this year. By our NATO Support and Procurement Agency, NSPA. The Plan also aims to enhance the interoperability of our ammunition and equipment. And support the transatlantic defence and industrial base. We have also completed an exceptional review of national capability targets for battle-decisive munitions. As a result, I expect ministers on Friday will decide to increase these targets substantially. This will strengthen both our ability to defend ourselves, and to support Ukraine. And it will send a clear signal to industry to boost production. Transcript continues: