NATO remains steadfast in its commitment to freedom

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg responds to the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Jens Stoltenberg

Photo courtesy of NATO
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg appeared at a press briefing following an extraordinary meeting of the North Atlantic Council on Feb. 24.

JENS STOLTENBERG
Secretary General, NATO
Special NATO press release

With news breaking by the hour, the parameters of our publication to bring you current updates on the Russian invasion of Ukraine are limited. We encourage you to visit our website at norwegianamerican.com for updates there. 

Both Norway and the United States are committed to defending the core values of our countries. We stand together with our allies to defend freedom throughout Europe and the world. 

We are sharing a statement made by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Feb. 24, following an extraordinary meeting of the North Atlantic Council in reaction to the Russian attack on Ukraine. Stoltenberg adamantly underlines the steadfast commitment of NATO—the United States, Norway, and all our NATO allies.

 

Good afternoon. 

Russia has attacked Ukraine.

This is a brutal act of war.

Our thoughts are with the brave people of Ukraine.

Sadly, what we have warned against for months has come to pass.

Despite all calls on Russia to change course and tireless efforts to seek a diplomatic solution. 

Peace in our continent has been shattered. 

We now have war in Europe, on a scale and of a type we thought belong to history.

We have just finished an emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Council to discuss the situation.

The Council also addressed the request by Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia to hold urgent consultations under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty.

This is a grave moment for the security of Europe.

Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked attack on Ukraine is putting countless innocent lives at risk.

With air and missile attacks.

Ground forces and special forces from multiple directions.

Targeting military infrastructure and major urban centers.

This is a deliberate, cold-blooded, and long-planned invasion.

Despite its litany of lies, denials, and disinformation, 

the Kremlin’s intentions are clear for the world to see. 

Russia’s leaders bear full responsibility for their reckless actions and the lives lost.

NATO Allies condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. 

This is a blatant violation of international law.

An act of aggression against a sovereign, independent and peaceful country. 

And a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security.  

We call on Russia to immediately cease its military action. 

Withdraw its forces from Ukraine.

And choose diplomacy.

We fully support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

And Ukraine’s right of self-defense.

Russia is using force to try to rewrite history.

And deny Ukraine its free and independent path.

NATO’s core task is to protect and defend all Allies.

There must be no room for miscalculation or misunderstanding.

An attack on one will be regarded as an attack on all.

This is our collective security guarantee.

Today, the North Atlantic Council decided to activate our defense plans,

At the request of our top military commander, General Tod Wolters.

 This is a prudent and defensive step to protect and shield Allied nations during this crisis.

And it will enable us to deploy capabilities and forces, including the NATO Response Force, to where they are needed.

In response to Russia’s massive military build-up, 

we have already strengthened our collective defense.

On land, at sea, and in the air.

In the last weeks, Allies from North America and Europe have deployed thousands of more troops to the eastern part of the Alliance.

And placed more on standby.

We have over 100 jets at high alert, protecting our airspace.

And more than 120 Allied ships at sea, from the High North to the Mediterranean.

All this shows that our collective defense commitment Article 5 is ironclad. 

And we will continue to do whatever is necessary to shield the Alliance from aggression.

I have called a virtual Summit of NATO leaders [Feb. 25], to address the way forward.

Russia is now facing severe costs and consequences imposed by the whole international community.

The Kremlin’s aim is to re-establish its sphere of influence.

Rip up the global rules that have kept us all safe for decades.

And subvert the values that we hold dear.

This is the new normal for our security.

Peace cannot be taken for granted.

Freedom and democracy are contested by authoritarian regimes. 

And strategic competition is on the rise.  

We must respond.

With renewed resolve.

And even stronger unity.

North America and Europe, together in NATO.

We are an Alliance of 30 democracies. Standing as one,

We will protect our people and our values.

Democracy will always prevail over autocracy.

Freedom will always prevail over oppression.

This article originally appeared in the March 4, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

The Norwegian American

Published since May 17, 1889 PO Box 30863 Seattle WA 98113 Tel: (206) 784-4617 • Email: naw@na-weekly.com

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