NATO and EU to strengthen cooperation against Russia

A joint statement by NATO and the European Union says that they will strengthen their cooperation in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which threatens security in Europe. Both international organizations have been trying to improve their cooperation for years. This way, they want to avoid the strengthened defence of the EU weakening the alliance.

"NATO remains the foundation of the Allies' collective defence and is essential to Euro-Atlantic security. We recognize the value of a stronger and more efficient European defence, which positively contributes to global and trans-Atlantic security and is complementary and interoperable with NATO," the joint statement reads.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, European Council President Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will sign the statement on Tuesday. According to a European official, the statement is "much more political than the one adopted in 2018". "It was prepared before the conflict in Ukraine and had to be completely rewritten."

Of the 27 EU countries, 21 are also members of NATO. Two other EU countries - Finland and Sweden - could join once Turkey lifts its veto.


The NATO headquarters in Haren, Brussels. © BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE

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