Speaking to reporters in Brussels ahead of a meeting with foreign ministers in Bucharest next week, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg vowed NATO “will not back down” as he called on allied countries to provide more support through the alliance’s “Comprehensive Assistance Package,” which sends crucial equipment to the war-wracked country such as fuel, medical support, among other supplies.
“It is in our security interest to support Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said, adding that “there can be no lasting peace if the aggressor wins.”
Stoltenberg also said NATO will guide Ukraine in transitioning its “Soviet-era equipment” into a modern army up to Western and NATO standards “over the longer term.”
NATO as an organization does not supply weapons, but members of the 30-nation security organization have been delivering non-lethal equipment to Ukraine, but Stoltenberg stressed that more support is needed as winter closes in.
At our meeting in Bucharest, “I will call for more,” he told reporters.
In the Romanian capital next week, Stoltenberg will be attending a meeting to discuss growing cooperation with foreign ministers of NATO and non-NATO members alike, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, and Georgia.
The two-day meeting that will be held from Nov. 29 to Nov. 30 in Bucharest is being held almost 15 years after NATO promised that Ukraine and Georgia would one day become members of the organization, a pledge that deeply angered Russia.
Stoltenberg said the three countries mentioned above “are facing Russian pressure in many different ways, so at our meeting, we will take further steps to help them protect their independence, and strengthen their ability to defend themselves.”
Finland and Sweden, the two Nordic countries who recently joined the alliance, will also attend the discussions in Bucharest, NATO’s chief said, emphasizing that it’s time for the two countries “to finalize their accession process and welcome them as full-fledged members of our Alliance.”
Challenges Posed by China
Stoltenberg said foreign ministers will also address China’s growing influence during next week’s meeting, which the NATO chief said is posing challenges to members.
“China’s not an adversary. But at the same time, we see the significant ongoing military modernization of China, including advanced weapons systems, long-range missiles, and new nuclear weapons,” said Stoltenberg.
“We see how China and Russia are working more and more closely together,” he continued. “We see how China tries to control critical infrastructure in Europe. We saw it with the discussions about 5G networks. And we see also how China doesn’t share our values, violating human rights in China. And how they crack down on democratic protest, and journalists.”
Stoltenberg said “resilience” and making sure the West maintains “a technological edge” over China are crucial knowing that the Chinese are “investing heavily in new, technologically advanced systems.”
During a meeting in Madrid last summer, NATO laid out a new strategic concept as it declared China a security challenge.
The June meeting came as China’s military ambition continued to grow in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, threatening the navigation freedom for ships and Taiwan’s territorial integrity. The Chinese regime claims the island as its own, despite Taiwan being a de facto independent country with its own military, democratically-elected government, and constitution.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From NTD News