NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attended a working dinner in preparation for the Madrid summit to be held on 29-30 June, hosted by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, in The Hague, Netherlands.
Romanian Prime Minister Klaus Iohannis, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa and Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins were also present at the dinner.
Then, the Prime Ministers of 7 NATO countries and Stoltenberg held a joint press conference.
Stoltenberg stated that they discussed the need for a stronger, even higher war readiness and advanced presence, more defense investment and the need to invest more to strengthen NATO’s co-financing.
Stating that his newly completed visits to Finland and Sweden were positive, Stoltenberg said that he welcomed the efforts made by the two countries to address concerns, including Turkey’s fight against PKK terrorism.
Stating that “We have to take the concerns expressed by President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan seriously, because Turkey is facing serious terrorist threats,” Stoltenberg noted that if an important ally like Turkey has concerns, they will sit down and talk and find a solution.
“UKRAINE SHOULD HAVE MORE HEAVY WEAPONS”
Stoltenberg said, “Ukraine should have more heavy weapons. In fact, NATO allies and partners have long supplied heavy weapons and are increasing it.”
NATO Secretary General said that today at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, the communication group established to support Ukraine will meet and discuss the weapons and military equipment to be provided.
Stoltenberg noted that he looks forward to hosting Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskiy to address NATO leaders at the summit in Madrid.
MESSAGES FROM THE LEADERS
Dutch Prime Minister Rutte also stated that they will work to find a solution before and after the NATO summit to be held in Madrid at the end of the month, adding that he believes that Turkey’s concerns will be eliminated and Sweden and Finland will eventually become members of NATO.
Belgian Prime Minister de Croo stated that his country will double its defense expenditures by 2030, citing the integration of defense between the Netherlands and his country as an example, and gave a message of unity in defense in Europe.
Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki also referred to the European Union’s (EU) sanctions against Russia, stating that the freezing of assets so far is not enough, the assets must be seized, and he will defend this at the next EU Leaders’ Summit.
Latvian Prime Minister Karins also underlined that the war initiated by Russia in Ukraine brought the allies closer together, that NATO’s eastern flank was strengthened and that they were in solidarity.
Portuguese Prime Minister Costa said that the coming together of 7 countries from east to west of NATO is an indicator of unity and that they will work for closer cooperation between NATO and the EU.