NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and US President Barack Obama stressed the Alliance’s strong commitment to collective defence during talks in Brussels on Wednesday (26 March 2014). “Our commitment to the defence of our Allies is unbreakable,” said the Secretary General.
Mr. Fogh Rasmussen expressed his strong appreciation for the leadership role the United States plays in the Alliance during his meeting with President Obama. The talks focused on the crisis in Ukraine, relations with Russia and implications of the crisis on the preparations for this September’s NATO Summit in Wales. “I welcome the steps that the United States has taken in response to Russia’s reckless and illegal military actions in Ukraine. Collective defence of our Allies is a core task for NATO and I join you in your call for additional measures to enhance our collective defence including updated and further developed defence plans, enhanced exercises and appropriate deployments,” said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen.
He added that NATO is “firm in our support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will intensify our military cooperation with Ukraine including helping the Ukrainians to modernise their armed forces.” Allies will review the viability of their relationship with Russia in preparations for the Wales Summit. NATO will also enhance its cooperation with partners, including Ukraine and Allies will further strengthen their collective defence and reinforce their transatlantic bond, the Secretary General said.
“NATO is a force for peace but also unmatched militarily. We do not seek confrontation but we will not waver if challenged and our Alliance is more than just a military Alliance, we are a community of values that also brings hope for all people seeking freedom and peace,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen states.