Stoltenberg answered journalists’ questions at the end of the first day of the NATO Defense Ministers Meeting held at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
Stating that they discussed the situation of deterrence and defense in the first day’s sessions, Stoltenberg said that they are trying to adapt to a more complex and competitive world.
Stating that the ministers approved a new comprehensive plan to defend NATO in crises and conflicts at today’s meeting, Stoltenberg noted that the aim here is to deploy the right forces in the right place at the right time.
Stoltenberg also stated that the ministers agreed on the alliance’s capability goals, which is part of the NATO Defense Planning Process.
– No new nuclear missiles to Europe
Underlining that they have discussed Russia’s response to the threat of missile systems and that NATO will not repeat Russia’s destabilizing attitude, Stoltenberg said:
“We have no intention of deploying new land-based nuclear missiles in Europe. We are implementing a balanced political and military package to respond to these threats. This includes significant improvements to our air and missile systems, strengthening our conventional capabilities with 5th generation fighter jets, harmonizing our exercises and intelligence, and nuclear It includes improvements in the effectiveness and readiness of our deterrence.”
– “Terrorist groups can also be hit from afar”
Stating that the ministers also talked about Afghanistan today, Stoltenberg said that they exchanged views on the lessons to be learned from NATO’s withdrawal from the country, that the process of drawing lessons continues, and that they will be on guard against Afghanistan becoming a terror home again.
Stoltenberg said, “Especially the United States and other allies have the opportunity to shoot terrorist groups in Afghanistan from afar when necessary. This means that we do not have to have thousands of soldiers on the ground to hit the terrorist groups that we see planning and organizing terrorist attacks,” Stoltenberg said. he said.
Emphasizing that they will hold the Taliban responsible for human rights, the resurgence of terrorism, and non-governmental organizations to ensure safe passage, Stoltenberg informed that the resettlement of Afghans evacuated from the country was also discussed at the meeting.
Stoltenberg said that allies such as Turkey, the USA, Norway, England and Germany played an important role in the evacuation from Afghanistan.
– EU’s defense efforts
On the question of EU countries to increase their own defense opportunities, Stoltenberg said, “I welcome the defense efforts of the EU on issues such as keeping the forces ready and providing new opportunities.” he said.
Stating that there is no competition between NATO and the EU and that the EU’s efforts are complementary to NATO, Stoltenberg said, “The important thing is that increasing the readiness of the forces means keeping them ready for NATO operations and missions as well as national missions and operations.” used the phrase.
Asked whether there are rifts between Europe and North America and his assessment of the AUKUS partnership, Stoltenberg said:
“There may sometimes be bilateral differences and disagreements between the allies, but NATO always has the opportunity to unite on the main task, work together and strengthen the alliance. What we see in Asia Pacific, developments such as the rise of China make the unity of Europe and North America in NATO even more important. “
– Black Sea
Reminding that US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin came to the meeting in Brussels from the Black Sea region, Stoltenberg said, “Can we see more power of NATO in the region?” He answered the question as follows:
“We have increased our presence in the Black Sea. Because the Black Sea is of strategic importance for NATO. Three important NATO allies, namely Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria, have coastlines. We have two important partners, Georgia and Ukraine. The illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia’s Black Sea. “We have seen his aggressive stance in the region. That is why we have increased our land, air and sea presence in the region. We are constantly evaluating what we can do more, not only by increasing our presence, but also by the ability to send forces quickly when necessary.”