Stoltenberg and Mogherini Discuss Improving NATO/EU Cooperation

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, October 14, 2014NATO and the European Union we have a lot in common. We share common values, we share common assessments and we face common challenges, and we are working together in the Balkans, in Afghanistan and also in fighting piracy off the coast of the African Horn. So there are already many places where we are working closely together and we should look to how we can expand and develop that cooperation.

Then, during our meeting, we discussed several [break in transmission] Federica [Mogherini] has already mentioned, but one of the issues we focused a lot on was of course the situation in Ukraine, and in Ukraine we have had so-called elections by armed separatists in the eastern parts of Ukraine. Those elections they run directly counter to the Minsk Agreements and NATO allies will not recognized those so-called elections.

Recently we are also seeing Russian troops moving closer to the border with Ukraine and Russia continues to support the separatists by training them, by providing equipment, and supporting them also by having special forces, Russian special forces, inside the eastern parts of Ukraine. So we call on Russia to make genuine efforts towards a peaceful solution and to use all their influence on the separatists to make them respect the Minsk Agreements and respect the ceasefire which is a precondition for a political solution to the difficult situation in Ukraine.

We also discussed the international effort to combat the terrorist group ISIL and the threat that returning foreign fighters can pose to our countries and the turmoil we see in Libya, and I underlined that NATO stands ready to help the government of Iraq and to help Libya and others to bolster their defence and to increase their capability to take care of their own security in their own country.

NATO and the European Union play different roles in different parts of the world but we are important together when we are able to cooperate and when we are able to complement each other, and that’s the aim of our cooperation is that we shall be even better in the future to complement each other and to work together.

And I also would like to underline that in this challenging [break in transmission] there is a need to both invest more in defence but also to invest better in defence, and that very much relates to defence industry, to our industrial base, and that’s of great importance both for the European Union and for NATO that we are able to, we call it NATO Smart Defence, in Europe you speak more about pooling and sharing, but to be able to utilize our resources in an even more effective way so we are getting more defence out of the investments we make in defence.

So there are many different areas where we are going to work together.

Opening remarks by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at press conferense with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, November 4, 2014.

Image: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, October 14, 2014 (photo: NATO)