Stoltenberg warns the EU against a closed ‘defence club’

NATONATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.Photo (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg is asking the EU to include other NATO Allies in their discussion when defence cooperation is to be further developed.

 

 

A total of 23 EU member states have now agreed to establish PESCO, a mechanism for closer co-operation in defense policy.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says he welcomes PESCO. The reason is that this new organisation can strengthen NATO also through increased spending and development of new military capabilities.

“This is a way to strengthen the European pillar in NATO,” says Stoltenberg.

He still warns the EU against closing PESCO for non-members.

“We must ensure that forces and capabilities developed in PESCO are also made available to NATO,” says Stoltenberg.

“At the same time, we must ensure that NATO Allies who are not involved in the EU are involved as much as possible in discussions,” he said.

According to him, it is important that the new initiatives do not compete with NATO.

“What we need is cooperation, a European defense alliance that complements NATO,” he says.

It is not suggested that countries outside the EU can join PESCO. However, “third countries” may be invited to single projects if this will add significant additional value to the projects.

 

©  NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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