In his pre-summit press conference on Friday, July 5, ahead of the July 9-11 NATO Heads of State Summit in Washington, which will be his last as Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg laid out his blueprint for the meeting.

He said the meeting gives leaders the chance to celebrate 75 years of “the most successful alliance in history.”

He then said more pertinently that vital and decisive decisions would be taken there addressing three main areas: an increase in NATO support to Ukraine, strengthening the Alliance’s collective defense, and consolidating global partnerships.

Stoltenberg highlighted five areas of support to Ukraine that he expected to be agreed next week. This would include:

  • Establishing a centralized, NATO-coordinated security assistance and training program
  • Committing to a formal financial pledge with funds from each nation provided as a percentage of their GDP
  • Providing increased immediate military support to Ukraine particularly focusing on air defense and ammunition
  • Finalizing additional bilateral security agreements between member nations and Kyiv
  • Establishing a new NATO-Ukraine Joint Analysis, Training and Education Center in Poland to ensure military interoperability between Kyiv and NATO forces

He again underlined the view he expressed during his recent meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in that NATO and Ukraine were moving closer together and their cooperation would act as a bridge to NATO membership.


In terms of wider NATO issues, he itemized how Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which began in 2014, but really ramped up because of the 2022 full-scale invasion, had acted to transform NATO’s posture.

He highlighted the forward deployment of 500,000 troops, the procurement of the latest military equipment including fifth-generation aircraft, the accession of Finland and Sweden, and greater financial burden-sharing with 23 [out of 32] members reaching or exceeding the magic 2 percent of GDP level of defense spending and a total increase in spending of 18 percent.

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He specifically mentioned enhancement to NATO’s collected air and missile defense systems, including “Aegis Ashore” anti-ballistic missile base in Poland which was commissioned at the end of 2023, near the village of Redzikowo which includes optimized, mainly US-provided radars, missile launchers and other components.

In terms of global partnerships Stoltenberg said in view of Iran and North Korea supplying war materials to Russia and China’s support to Moscow’s war economy, NATO was working to strengthen links in the Indo-Pacific areas. In response, the leaders of Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea have been invited to the Summit.


Soltenberg finished by referencing polling released by the Pew Research Centre that 70 percent of NATO’s citizens supported continuing membership and large majorities were in favor of continuing support to Ukraine.

Prior to taking questions from the assembled press corps he said, “The decisions we will take in Washington next week will ensure that we continue to protect our people and our values.”

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