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NATO Ministers Discuss Global Issues, Support for Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that they addressed the global consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine, emphasising that if President Putin prevails in Ukraine, it would send a dangerous message to authoritarian leaders worldwide, encouraging the use of brute force.

The foreign ministers also discussed China’s growing alignment with Russia. Stoltenberg warned that any provision of lethal aid by China to Russia would be a historic mistake with profound implications. He emphasised that as Beijing and Moscow push back against the rules-based international order, NATO Allies and like-minded partners must stand united.

The ministers addressed threats and challenges in the Middle East and North Africa, including instability, terrorism, and the increasing activities of Russia and China. They also discussed the importance of increased defence spending, with Stoltenberg expecting Allies to agree on an ambitious new defence investment pledge at the Vilnius Summit, with 2% as a minimum rather than a ceiling.

Support for Ukraine was a primary focus during the discussions. Stoltenberg welcomed new commitments made by Allies in the NATO-Ukraine Commission on Tuesday (4 April 2023) and encouraged continued military support for Ukraine.

He announced the development of a strategic multi-year assistance program for Ukraine, demonstrating long-term support and emphasizing Ukraine’s future within the Euro-Atlantic family.

On the sidelines of the meetings, NATO welcomed Finland as its newest member. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto took Finland’s seat among NATO Allies for the first time on 4 April, marking the Alliance’s seventy-fourth anniversary.

Source : UKDJ