Secretary General Discusses Stronger NATO-EU cooperation at EU Defence Ministerial

Speaking ahead of the EU Defense Ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday (19 April) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed close cooperation between NATO and the EU to respond to the refugee and migrant crisis.
He said that NATO ships deployed in the Aegean Sea are doing surveillance and reconnaissance and “providing real-time information to the Turkish coastguard, to the Greek coastguard and also the EU border agency Frontex”.

The Secretary General said that the upcoming NATO Summit in Warsaw and the EU Summit in June will provide a very good platform for cooperation between NATO and the EU.  “We will look into how we can expand that cooperation”, he said.  He added that “NATO stands ready to provide support to the new government of national accord” in Libya.

Talking about the NATO-Russia Council, which will take place tomorrow (20 April), the Secretary General highlighted that it will be the first NRC meeting since 2014 and said that the crisis in and around Ukraine, military activity, transparency, risk reductions and Afghanistan will be among the issues discussed. “And I think that the incidents we have seen in the Baltic Sea over the last week with the unprofessional and unsafe behavior of Russian planes close to an American ship and also close to an American plane just underlines the importance of open military lines of communication, of predictability and risk reduction”, he said.

On Tuesday, the Secretary General was also meeting with the EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises, Elżbieta Bieńkowska and with the Minister of Defense of Spain Pedro Morenés Eulate.