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Stotlenberg: cooperation with EU, ongoing modernization of the Alliance and the relations with Russia, topics of the NATO Summit in 2018


The cooperation with the European Union, the ongoing modernization of the North Atlantic Alliance and the relations with Russia will be important topics of the NATO Summit in 2018, to be hosted by the new Brussels headquarters of the organization, said on Monday NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in the plenary session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. 

In his speech, Stoltenberg said that preparations have commenced for the next NATO Summit to be held in Brussels next year, with the Alliance to continue to build on the decisions made in Wales and Warsaw, by increasing allied collective defense, stability and security brought to the neighbours in the east and in the south. The relations with Russia will be a very important topic, as well as the cooperation with the European Union and the ongoing modernization of the Alliance. Crucially, going forward represents for the Alliance investing in defense. 

The official voiced concern with Russia's military actions close to NATO's borders and Moscow's lack of transparency in connection with the military drills ZAPAD 2017, which highlights the need for a two-direction approach against Russia, combining solid defense with substantive dialogue, including within the NATO-Russia Council. 

Jens Stoltenberg stressed that the current hybrid threats to security, including cyber-attacks and misinformation, are now faster and more intense than ever, and an essential part of NATO's mission is to combat these threats. 

According to the secretary general of the Alliance, strengthening the cooperation with the European Union has an important role to play in this demarche, as neither NATO nor the EU can fight threats alone. 

According to the allied official, a challenge is posed also by the fragmentation of the European defense industry.