[H]istory has taught us that freedom does not come for free. We must work for it. Invest in it. And, if necessary, fight for it.
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine demonstrates that freedom is not a given. Russia has ripped up the rule book. And in doing so, it has undermined the international order that has been the foundation of our peace and prosperity.
By standing together, North America and Europe have been the inspiration and the driving force of that order. To uphold it now, we must continue to stand together.
This means we must reinforce our economic ties. And here the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is key. We must make energy diversification a strategic transatlantic priority and reduce Europe’s dependency on Russian oil and gas. We must increase defence investment in Europe. And we must strengthen our security cooperation in NATO.
But the challenge now posed by Russia is not the only challenge we face. There are a wide range of other, global security risks and threats. Like terrorism and extremism. Proliferation and piracy. Cyber and energy security. And the security implications of climate change.
Transatlantic resolve and unity will be critical in meeting all these complex challenges. And NATO is the unique political and military instrument that allows us to muster that transatlantic resolve, and translate it into unified action.
Excerpt from remarks by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the conference Strengthening the Transatlantic Bond,” June 10, 2014.