July 4, 2016: Pre-Summit Press Conference

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Pre-Summit Press Conference

July 4, 2016

Good afternoon.

Happy fourth of July to our American friends!

And welcome all of you to this press conference.

This week’s NATO Summit in Warsaw comes at a defining time for our security. With threats and challenges from many directions.

In response, at our last Summit in Wales, we laid out plans for the biggest reinforcement of NATO’s collective defence since the Cold War.

In Warsaw, I will report to Heads of State and Government that NATO has done what we said we would do.   We delivered a faster, a stronger, and a more ready Alliance. We now need to take the next steps. So at our Summit in Warsaw, we will agree to further enhance our military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance.

We will deploy four robust, multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. I welcome Canada’s recent announcement that it will lead one of these four battalions. Together with Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. This is a great contribution to our common security. And a clear signal that our nations will defend one another, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Our collective defence and deterrence includes much more. We will also agree to develop a tailored presence in the south-east, based on a multinational brigade in Romania.

We will recognise cyberspace as an operational domain, alongside air, land and sea. And I expect that Allies will make a Cyber Defence Pledge to strengthen their own networks. This is part of our overall efforts to increase our resilience, both within our nations and collectively.

And we will further streamline the flow of civilian and military intelligence through a new Intelligence Division within NATO Headquarters. Helping us to make the right decisions at the right time. And enabling us to better counter modern challenges, including hybrid and terrorist threats.

The Warsaw Summit will renew our commitment to spend more on defence and to spend better.  Today, we have published the details of Allies’ defence expenditure for 2015, and updated estimates for 2016.

Last year, after a long period of decline, we saw a small increase in overall defence spending by NATO’s European Allies and Canada.

This year, we estimate that it will rise even more. We expect a real increase of 3% in defence spending by European Allies and Canada.This amounts to 8 billion US dollars. 22 Allies will increase defence spending in real terms.

Moreover, 18 Allies will increase defence expenditures devoted to major equipment, and research and development.

So, we are both spending more and we are spending better.  But we have a very long way to go and we must keep up the momentum.

In all our decisions, our aim is to defend our Allies, not to increase tensions in Europe. NATO continues to be a responsible, transparent and predictable actor.

And we remain open to dialogue with Russia.

The NATO-Russia Council has an important role to play as a forum for dialogue and information exchange, to reduce tensions and increase predictability.

That is why we are talking with Russia to hold another meeting of the Council shortly after the Warsaw Summit. Where transparency and risk reduction should be an important topic.

Another major theme of the Summit will be projecting stability beyond our borders.

When our neighbours are more stable, we are more secure. NATO can, and will do more to support them.  We will agree to start training and capacity building inside Iraq, expanding our existing training for Iraqi officers in Jordan.

We will decide that NATO AWACS aircraft will provide information to the Global Coalition to counter ISIL.

And I expect we will agree on a role for NATO in the Central Mediterranean, complementing the European Union’s Operation Sophia. And building on our effective cooperation in the Aegean to cut lines of human trafficking.

Afghanistan remains our largest operation.  President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah will join us in Warsaw.

We are committed to assisting the Afghan forces to secure their country and to ensure it never again becomes a safe haven for international terrorism. We will continue our Resolute Support mission beyond 2016. And we will continue our contribution to the funding of the Afghan forces until 2020.

We will also demonstrate our support to our partners in the east.

We will hold a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission with President Poroshenko. An independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law is key to Euro-Atlantic security. And NATO is committed to helping Ukraine achieve that goal.

We will also continue to boost the defence capacity and resilience of Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. To resist outside pressure and to advance reforms.

The European Union is a unique and essential partner for NATO. Now is the time to take our cooperation to a new level. In Warsaw, together with the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, I will sign a joint declaration on our partnership. Setting out new ways we can work more closely together. On key areas such as countering hybrid threats and maritime security. Because together, we are stronger.

Our world is changing, and NATO is changing with it.

What remains unchanged is the unbreakable bond between Europe and North America, on which our Alliance is founded.

In an age of uncertainty, we need our Alliance more than ever for predictability, cooperation and unity.  The decisions we will take at the Warsaw Summit will strengthen our Alliance, and demonstrate our resolve.

And, with that, I am ready to take your questions.

Oana Lungescu (NATO Spokesperson): Okay well start with Berlingske, second row here.

Q: Jacob from Danish daily Berlingske. On the defence expenditure, you say there’s been some progress but there’s still a very long way to go. So if we just go back to Wales and the pledges for reaching two per cent in 10 years time from Wales, were two years into that period, so how satisfied are you with the progress so far and how realistic that we in eight years time well see all 28 on two per cent or above? And if this is not reachable in the next eight years what will it mean for NATOs capabilities to do more in relation to migration, ISIL, all the threats from the east, south, wherever it might be?

Jens Stoltenberg (NATO Secretary General): I think we have to remember that the heads of state and government decided in Wales two years ago to increase defence spending in three steps. First to stop the cuts then to gradually increase defence spending and then to aim at two per cent within a decade. And we have to also remember that now we are only less than two years into that pledge and after the two first years we have seen that we have been able to stop the cuts and we have been able to gradually increase defence spending. That’s the total numbers and of course the picture is mixed. Some allies, the majority, have started to increase but some allies are still cutting. In total if you add all that together you see an increase among European allies and Canada. The United States is far above two per cent.

So we are moving in the right direction and I’m glad to see that we have really turned a corner meaning that after many, many years of decline we have started to increase. Having said that there is a long way because we are in no way at two per cent and still some allies are cutting and there is a long way to go. But I am encouraged by the progress I have seen. This has been my main focus since I arrived at NATO headquarters. I have discussed it in all capitals at least once and I will continue to be extremely focused on defence spending. At the summit, this will be an issue at the summit. We will share figures and the facts with the heads of state and government and report back to them but also of course in the months and years following the summit. I expect NATO to deliver and NATO heads of state and governments to do as they decided to do in Wales and that’s absolutely possible, it is within reach and as I say we have now started to move in the right direction after many years of decline.

Oana Lungescu: Agence France-Presse in the first row.

Q: Thank you Secretary General. I have a question about the plan to declare an operational, initial operational capability for the BND system, the anti-missile shield. I understand some countries and especially France is asking for guarantees that this system will be completely under the political control of the 28 allies before this IOC is declared. Can you explain if, to us if, how these discussions are unfolding and if you expect still a decision to be taken in Warsaw this week? Thank you.

Jens Stoltenberg: Our aim is to be able to declare initial operational capability for our missile defence system at our summit in Warsaw and we are working on that exactly now. And the missile defence system is important because we have seen proliferation of ballistic missiles and NATO has to be able to defend our population, our territory against that kind of attacks. I think it is important once again to underline that this is not directed against Russia. It is directed against threats coming from outside the Euro Atlantic area and it is also important to remember that this is about missile defence. A missile defence is defensive and we speak about interceptors which are able to intercept incoming missiles and the interceptors are not offensive weapons, they are, they don’t carry armed warheads, they are only able to intercept incoming missiles and the location, the physics makes it impossible for them to intercept Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Of course command and control is important and that’s exactly what we now are looking into. How we can find ways to ensure the best possible command and control taking into account that we have very little time to decide when we are in a real danger situation when there is a possible attack. So we have to find ways of ensuring the necessary political control, the necessary terms of command and control taking into account that if we are attacked by ballistic missiles we speak about a very short time to make the necessary decisions.

Oana Lungescu: Agence Europe in the fifth, in the fifth row.

Q: Jan Kordys, Agence Europe. Secretary General about the NATO Russia Council, are you disappointed that the meeting could take place only after the summit? How do you explain this decision? And could you tell us a little bit more about the agenda of the meeting, what do we expect from the Russia party? Thank you.

Jens Stoltenberg: So we were ready to have a meeting before the summit but were also ready to have a meeting after the summit and to be honest it doesn’t matter that much whether it takes place just before or just after the summit, the important thing is that it takes place. And we are now in good dialogue with the Russians about the modalities, the agenda and the exact timing of the next meeting of the NATO Russia Council. There has been no final agreement but we have a good dialogue with them on these issues.

And as soon as we decide on the agenda and exact timing we will announce the next meeting. I think and I believe that the NATO Russia Council is a very useful and important tool because NATO very much believes in the idea of defence and dialogue and we don’t see any contradiction between strong defence, deterrence and political dialogue. Actually we believe that we need dialogue more now when we see increased tensions, more military activity; then the importance of political channels, political dialogue but also military to military lines of communications are even more important. Therefore we had or we convened a meeting of the NATO Russia Council some weeks ago. We planned to have one shortly after the summit.

One of the issues I believe should be addressed there, is transparency, risk reductions, predictability, because we have seen more military activities, more unsafe and unprofessional behaviour and with all the flights, all the military activity in the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and other places around NATO territory it is important to avoid the kind of incidents, accidents we have seen with, for instance, the downing of the Russian plane over Turkey and also the buzzing of American naval ship in the Baltic Sea recently. These are incidents and accidents which we should try to prevent and if they occur we should have mechanisms in place making sure that they don’t spiral out of control and create really dangerous situations. So, were looking forward to have a new meeting in the NATO Russia Council also addressing transparency, risk reductions. Exactly when that is going to take place and the exact agenda is not yet decided.

Oana Lungescu: UNIAN, third row.

Q: Thank you. Secretary General please can you give more details about NATO Ukraine Commission during Warsaw Summit? What exactly is the agenda? What do you expect from Ukrainian and what NATO expect from NATO? Thank you.

Jens Stoltenberg: First of all I’m looking forward to welcoming President Petro Poroshenko once again to NATO headquarters. He will be there, he will update us at the meeting of the NATO Ukraine Commission which we will have on the second day of the summit. And at that meeting NATO and NATO allies will reiterate their strong political support to Ukraine for the territorial integrity, the sovereignty of Ukraine and we will reiterate our strong support for the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. We have seen a number of violations of the ceasefire. We will call for a full respect of the ceasefire but also that the international observers are allowed to work and to do their job in Eastern Ukraine, to be able to monitor and to help implementing the Minsk Agreements and the ceasefire. We will also step up our practical support, not only political support but also practical support for Ukraine.

And we will agree on a comprehensive package where we will stream, streamline our different strands of work and support to Ukraine. This will include strategic advice and assistance. We are already providing practical support to Ukraine through our different trust funds covering areas like command and control, logistic and cyber but we will also then add new projects to the different activities under the trust funds and we will add projects related to hybrid warfare, explosive devices and strategic communications. So we will strongly provide political support but we will also step up and increase our practical support with the agreement on the comprehensive assistance package for Ukraine.

Oana Lungescu: Georgian Public Broadcaster, first row.

Q: Georgian Public Broadcaster. Mr. Secretary General how do you evaluate the progress made by Georgia? I mean the steps taken by Georgia and also by NATO since Wales. From your perspective and also what can, what should Georgia expect in Warsaw? You have just mentioned that its important for the organization to help partners and the partners should have the ability to resist outside pressure. What do you mean and what risks do you see? Thank you.

Jens Stoltenberg: We will have a meeting in the NATO Georgia Commission at the foreign ministerial level during our summit. And there we will express our political support and again to the territorial integrity and independence of Georgia but we will also discuss how we can support, provide practical support to Georgia. And I was present when we inaugurated a joint training centre in Georgia some months ago and I think that’s a very good platform for providing practical support to Georgia. There is more NATO in Georgia now with trainers, with advisors and we will help Georgia implement reforms modernizing its defence structures and building defence institutions. So this is a meeting place where we will meet with the Georgian Foreign Minister and other representatives from Georgia discussing how we can work together with a close partner and also to commend Georgia for contributing troops, forces to different NATO operations including to Afghanistan. One of the biggest force contributors to our mission in Afghanistan is for instance, or is Georgia.

Q: And what about outside threats [inaudible]?

Jens Stoltenberg: The reason why we are, one of the reasons why we are stepping up our support and why we are providing support to Georgia, political support, practical support, why we have inaugurated the training centre and why we are developing our cooperation in other ways is to help Georgia increase their resilience, their capacity to resist outside pressure. So of course it is important for NATO to support Georgia because Georgia has seen a lot of pressure from outside, and we will continue to help them resist that pressure.

Oana Lungescu: Wall Street Journal.

Q: Mr. Secretary General in Warsaw the alliance is going to announce a pretty robust deterrence measure for the Baltic region but it is a pretty non-robust initiative for the Black Sea region. I wonder could you talk a little bit about why that is, is that because of different level of threat or is it disagreements around allies that prohibited the flotilla idea from coming to fruition? Why the difference between the approach to the Baltic and the Black region?

Jens Stoltenberg: Well we have decided to have four battalions in the three Baltic countries and Poland and then we have decided to have what we call a tailored presence for the southeast region and that will be built around a Romanian brigade but the thing is to turn this Romanian brigade into a multi-national force. So the idea is to have also NATO forces from different allies being part of this tailored presence in the southeast based around a Romanian brigade. And it will be under command of the multi-national division southeast which is a multi-national presence in Romania. So there’s going to be a multi-national NATO presence in the southeast, in Romania and were going to make decisions on this at our summit. Moreover we have already increased our presence in the southeast with more air policing and with more naval presence in the Black Sea. Warsaw is not the end, so we will continue to assess, continue to adapt and one of the areas where I see a need for continued adaptation is when it comes to our presence in the Black Sea region. So that will certainly be on our agenda also after Warsaw.

Oana Lungescu: Suddeutsche.

Q: Secretary General the German Foreign Minister has criticised the behaviour of some within NATO and talked about sabre rattling and war mongering. Is that, in the air towards Russia, is that a concern that you share? A criticism that you share? Or is that a comment that you have no understanding for?

Jens Stoltenberg: I share the idea of that NATO has to both be strong, enhance our defence and deterrence and at the same time strive for a more cooperative and constructive relationship with Russia. And that has been the message from me from the first day I arrived, that’s the message from the whole alliance and that’s also the message from Germany being a staunch ally. And we have to adapt, when the world is changing – NATO has to change and that’s exactly what we have done. We have strengthened our military presence as a response to Russia’s behaviour in Ukraine but we have also continued to strive for more dialogue, more, a more constructive and cooperative relationship with Russia.

So therefore I welcome that we were able to hold a meeting on the NATO Russia Commission some months ago and we will continue to convey a very clear message that NATO does not seek confrontation. We don’t want a new cold war, we, what we do is proportionate, is, its defensive and I welcome that Germany has been contributing both to our enhanced collective defence, for instance being one of the lead nations for our enhanced forward presence, one of the battalions we will have in the east, but also that Germany has been a driver for dialogue and cooperation and striving for a more cooperative relationship with Russia. There’s no contradiction, Germany is in favour of both and I’m also in favour of both.

Oana Lungescu: NPR CBS.

Q: Hi thank you. Teri Shultz with NPR and CBS. First question on, you haven’t been asked about Brexit yet, let me be the first on Americas birthday. Have you heard any concerns inside the alliance and do you have any concerns that a new government in Britain may not be completely on board with the commitments of the Cameron Government? And in another part of the continent, up in Finland on Friday President Putin warned the Finns that if they were to join NATO, which we know is not quite on the table yet, nobody should think he would keep his troops 900 miles from the Finnish border. We’ve heard these things before with Sweden, with Denmark when integration, when they were further integrating, so Id just like to know what you think about this latest salvo? Thank you.

Jens Stoltenberg: Brexit will change the relationship between UK and the European Union but it will not change UKs position inside NATO. UK will remain a strong and committed ally and David Cameron and the Government of UK has clearly stated that they will continue to be a committed ally living up to all their obligations. And I am certain that also a new government in United Kingdom will continue that line. This is important because the United Kingdom is a major provider of security in Europe and provider of security for the NATO alliance. UK accounts for roughly one quarter of defence spending among European NATO allies and they have proven again and again that they are able deploy forces, to contribute with capabilities to different NATO missions and operations. And therefore it is important to underline that the UKs position in NATO is unchanged.

What is changing is UKs relationship with the European Union. I think also it is of great importance to underline that we will step up our cooperation between NATO and the European Union and we will do that at the Warsaw Summit where President Tusk, President Juncker and I will sign a declaration on how we can develop, how we will strengthen NATO EU cooperation and the European Union is important for stability and security in Europe, the European Union contributes to stability and security in Europe and NATO and the European Union we are essential and unique partners and we have to work even closer together and that’s exactly what we are planning to do.

The other question was about Finland. Its up to the Finns to decide whether they want to apply for membership and that’s a basic fundamental principle that every nation has the right to decide its own path including what kind of security arrangements it wants to be part of. That is something NATO, NATO countries, NATO allies have signed to and also Russia has signed to. And of course that also applies for, is also valid for Finland. So its up to Finland to decide. I will not give them any advice and then if they apply they will be, such application will be handled exactly the same way as any other application and there is no way … it’ll be absolutely unjustified if that creates any negative reactions from any other country because that’s a decision to be taken by Finland and NATO allies.

Oana Lungescu: I still see a lot of hands up so I would ask you colleagues if you could speak to one question if at all possible. Well go to Swiss Media over there.

Q: Yes Secretary General Thomas [inaudible], Swiss Television. Id like to stay on Brexit. I take it that the UK position in NATO doesn’t change but they are on the way out from the European Union where they were the most vocal defendant of the need to avoid duplications and waste of resources. So is there any concern that with the, with Britain on the way out the situation may change? And how much has been actually discussed this given the uncertainty about the, their next moves? Thank you.

Jens Stoltenberg: I welcome any efforts by European countries to strengthen their defence capabilities. That will be good for Europe, for the European Union and for NATO. I also welcome any efforts to strengthen defence cooperation between European countries and in NATO we have done a lot to, for instance, develop the concept of framework nations where different nations are working together, sharing responsibilities and they’re developing capabilities and capacities together. That’s something I welcome and again, that also defence industry developing capabilities, again this is good for all of us, for the European Union, for NATO and for Europe. And so the only thing I think that is it important to avoid is duplication and NATO has structures, command structures which are well tested, well trained over decades and proven that we are able to deliver when needed. And so therefore it is important that enhanced cooperation, defence cooperation between European countries adds value and that we avoid duplication. And I expect that we, so I believe that this is something that we all agree on because we have scarce resources and we have to be, make sure that we use those resources in the best possible and most efficient way and duplication will not be an efficient way of using limited defence resources.

Oana Lungescu: Politiken.

Q: Thomas Larsen, Politiken. Just another follow up on Brexit. Are you really saying that the fact that a key ally like Britain is going to leave the European Union does not affect in any way the prospect of further collaboration between the EU and NATO that you say is so important?

Jens Stoltenberg: If anything it just strengthen the needs for enhanced NATO EU cooperation and before we know, we knew about the decision of the UK to leave the European Union, before we knew that we actually had decided to make the Warsaw Summit and Warsaw a platform for enhanced NATO EU cooperation and that’s exactly what we are going to do. And as I said if anything it increases the need for that kind of cooperation but it was something we decided and planned even before. So, because neither, both the European Union and NATO faces or, we face together a new security environment with new threats: hybrid, terrorism, instability, and neither the European Union nor NATO possesses all the tools to respond so therefore we have to work together, on for instance countering hybrid threats and other challenges. And that’s what we are going to do at the Warsaw.

Oana Lungescu: Kabul Times.

Q: Thank you very much. Secretary General as you mentioned at the Warsaw Summit Afghan President and also Chief Executive also attend, its very important summit for Afghanistan. As you know the security situation in Afghanistan remains very dangerous. What message of support to the Afghan Security Force do you expect from, from Afghanistan the Warsaw Summit? Thank you.

Jens Stoltenberg: I expect actually three messages of support. One is that we will continue our Resolute Support Mission beyond 2016 meaning that we will continue to train, assist and advise the Afghan National Security Forces, to strengthen their capability, to fight terrorism in Afghanistan and to stabilize their own country. We don’t believe that’s an easy task but we have seen that the Afghan Security Forces are professional, capable and that they are fighting the terrorists in Afghanistan and we will continue with our Resolute Support Mission helping them.

The second thing we will do is that we will make decisions on continued funding. I think that’s extremely important. We made a decision back at our summit in Chicago and now we will make a new pledge up to 2020 providing the financial funding for the Afghan National Army and Security Forces.

And the third thing we will do is that we will develop our enduring partnership, the political cooperation, the cooperation with Afghanistan and on all these three strands of work we will see strong commitment from NATO and NATO partners because there are many NATO partners contributing to the same efforts, to continue to support the Afghans. And again I think this is important to understand that this is important for Afghanistan but its also important for us because we have seen the reason why NATO is in Afghanistan is, is that that was a response to a terrorist attack against the United States back in 2001 9/11. So we are there because we wanted to fight terrorism, we wanted to prevent Afghanistan becoming a safe haven for international terrorism and therefore we are in Afghanistan also to protect ourselves because everything we can do to project stability is also good for our own security.

Oana Lungescu: Geo TV Pakistan.

Q: [Inaudible] from GEO Television Pakistan. Secretary General as my colleague suggested the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan but more worrisome the tension between Afghanistan Pakistan border, particularly on [inaudible] and bombing each other and Pakistan indication to expel within a six month millions of Afghan refugees as a retaliation. How you see all this development, stability of Afghanistan is depend, the strong cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan and also what’s happening in tripartheid commission in Kabul? Thank you.

Jens Stoltenberg: I think the tensions and the fighting we have seen on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan just underlines the importance of political dialogue and measures to diffuse the tensions and to avoid these kinds of incidents happening in the future. And therefore I support the efforts of both the Afghan Government and the Pakistani Government to solve these problems with a political dialogue.

Oana Lungescu: Kuwaiti News Agency Kuna.

Q: Thank you Mr. Secretary General. Given the fact that King Abdullah of Jordan will be in Warsaw and also a few Arab Defence Ministers, so what will be your proposal to them on the fight in general against terrorism and in particular against DAESH? We have seen now recent reports in the [inaudible] in Jordan, in Turkey, Bangladesh, [inaudible] and [inaudible]. So what will be your essential message to them? Thank you.

Jens Stoltenberg: Our message will be that we will step up our support for countries and forces in the region strengthening their capability to stabilize their own countries, and to fight terrorism – ISIL. And that’s exactly what we are doing, that’s actually what we are doing in Afghanistan where we train national forces to fight terrorists, different terrorist groups in Afghanistan. That is what we are now doing when we train Iraqi forces, We do that in Jordan but we will make decisions to then expand that into training of Iraqi officers in Iraq. That’s what we do when we work with Jordan as a close partner but also work with for instance Tunisia on issues like intelligence, developing their intelligence capabilities but also special operation forces.

And that’s what we actually do when NATO is present in Turkey – with assurance measures, with AWACS planes and patriot batteries augmenting the air defences of Turkey because Turkey is the NATO ally most affected by the turmoil, the violence in Turkey, in, sorry in Syria and Iraq. So one of the main messages from the Warsaw Summit will be that NATO will do more to fight terrorism, to fight instability by working with partner countries in the wider Middle East region, North Africa, to enable them to fight terrorism because we really believe that our, one of our best weapons in the fight against terrorism is to train local forces. I would also like to underline that we are working closely with several countries in the Gulf region and we will soon inaugurate a new NATO centre in Kuwait. I visited Kuwait recently and I saw the construction of this centre and this centre will be an important platform for regional cooperation between the Gulf countries and NATO addressing, for instance, what we can do together to project stability.

Oana Lungescu: Two very quick final questions here with Reuters over there and then Swedish Radio, final question.

Q: Thank you very much. Secretary General you’ve been saying since I think February or March that NATO will help the Europeans in the Mediterranean and now at the summit you’re saying again that its going to happen but could you give us a bit more detail? I mean when will NATO ships actually be physically helping patrol that part of the central Mediterranean? Thank you very much.

Jens Stoltenberg: That’s exactly one of the issues we will make decisions on; we will make decisions on the transformation of our presence, present presence in the Mediterranean, transforming our present operation Active Endeavour into a broader security mission. And I expect that to happen at the summit: the transformation of Active Endeavour into broader security maritime operation. Exactly when we will deploy capabilities, its too early to say but, it may be ships but it also may be for instance maritime patrol aircrafts, intelligence and other capabilities. That depends partly on what’s needed and on our dialogue with the European Union. But let me add that we are already present in the Mediterranean; we have the Active Endeavour but we have our cooperation with the European Union in the Aegean and that has been very successful.

Together with the European Union, with Turkey, with the Frontex and the Greek Coast Guard we have been able to cut the lines of illegal trafficking. The number of crossings have gone from several thousands to date to close to zero. This is of course part of a broader international effort but NATO has contributed with six, eight ships, it had varied a bit but we have been present there and I think that the NATO naval presence has been important partly because we have given practical support to the local coast guards and navies but also because we have provided a platform for enhanced cooperation between Turkey and Greece. So we are building on the good experience and the success we have had in the Aegean when we now are looking into what more we can do in other parts of the Mediterranean including in the central Mediterranean.

Oana Lungescu: And final question Swedish Radio.

Q: Hi, [inaudible], Swedish Radio. As far as I understand you have invited to the summit with 28 countries plus two, why so? And from a NATO perspective to what extent is it possible to even further the integration with partnership countries like Sweden and Finland without having them as members of NATO?

Jens Stoltenberg: So we are inviting Finland and Sweden because Finland and Sweden are two of our very few enhanced opportunity partners. So Sweden and Finland are really close friends of NATO and we invite close friends to dinner and that’s exactly what we are going to do at the dinner of heads of state and government on the first day – on Friday – where the Finnish President and the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven are going to be present. And I’m looking forward to that because Sweden and Finland are very close partners; we work together with them, they contribute to many different NATO operations and missions, for instance, in Afghanistan and of course all issues related to security, stability in the Baltic Sea region, Finland and Sweden are important. So this is a cooperation which is to the benefit of Finland and Sweden and its a benefit for NATO and NATO allies. And then its up to Finland and Sweden to decide whether they want more, this is only dinner.

Oana Lungescu: And with that well see in in Warsaw. Thank you very much.