NATO Secretary General at discussion organised by the Körber Stiftung and Der Spiegel, 18 JAN 2022

Dear Mr Secretary General, dear spectators, awarm welcome to this special edition of our interview streaks, in cooperation with Der Spiegel, which is called the New World( Dis-) Order. And rarely has a title been more adequate than itis today. We have 100,000 Russian corps standing near the Ukrainian border. We have aflurry of diplomatic act, even further with very little tangible results. And afterthe meeting today with Chancellor Scholz, our guest speaker, NATO Secretary General JensStoltenberg reiterated that there is a real risk of armed showdown on European soil.This is a very worrying outlook and its a crucial moment for European security.So we are veryprivileged and honoured to have the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with us today.A warmwelcome, Mr Secretary General, great to have you. And we will talk, apparently, about scenarios butalso options on the table in the current crisis. At this time, let me too lengthen a warmwelcome to the NATO delegation here in Berlin, of course everyone heeding the most rigidCorona protocol. And let me likewise say a warm thank you to the delegation formaking this conversation happen today. Im too extremely delighted to have with me ourfriend and colleague Britta Sandberg, the foreign correspondent of Der Spiegel, based in Paris, and the co-host for this series at the end of the debates. Now, before we knock this off, dear viewers, letme remind all of us and peculiarly you that you can constitute questions to the SecretaryGeneral during those 45 hours. To do so, please go to and enterthe following code: 648034. And the system likewise is displayed in the screen.Sowithout[ further] ado, Britta, the storey is yours. Mr Secretary General, you said yourself lastweek, there is a real risk for a new armed conflict in Europe. On Friday, there wasmore confirmation of Russian powers being moved towards Ukraine from other parts of thecountry. The Atlantic Councils Digital Forensic Research Lab analysed photos posted on TikTokand other social media this month, which it said testified portable short-spoken compas weapons andT-7 2 containers being transported westwards. My first question is a very simple butalso a extremely fright one: how close are we these days to a fighting situation in Ukraine? There is real danger because it is exactly as you say, there is a continued military build-upwith tens of thousands of combat-ready units, with heavy paraphernalium, with combat containers, with armoured vehicles and a lot of other offensive weapons systems. This is combined with avery peril hyperbole, where Russia says that, We have some proposals and if you dontaccept them, there will be significances. And they speak about what they refer toas armed technical upshots. And then, on top of that, we have a track recordof Russia utilize military force against Ukraine before.So, capabilities, threateningrhetoric and a track record of course, that is something we have to take veryseriously and thats exactly what we do. But at the same time, we need to strive fordialogue. And thats what we have done today. In NATO, we have . . . I invited, again, all member states in the NATO-Russia Council, the 30 Allies and Russia to sit down andtry to find a political direction forward. But fairly intellects to be nervous? Should we be nervous? Are you more apprehensive than ever before, if you rememberyour time as Secretary General these last years? I will use the phrase concerned, and we aredeeply concerned because it is a serious situation in and around Ukraine.And, but at the same time, we should never give up the efforts to try to find a political path forward. And we should alsodo what we can to deter or discourage Russia from once again using force against a neighbour.And therefore, we are also sending a message to Russia that there will be a high price to pay.There will be financial, fiscal sanctions. We add, NATO Collaborator provide support toUkraine so they can defend themselves and too that is increasing the thresholdfor any use of force against Ukraine. And thirdly, of course, we are alwaysready to protect and attack all Collaborator, if there is any threat against any NATO Ally.So, we are working hard and hoping for the best, but preparation of the most difficult tryingto do the two things in parallel. The United Country, as other Western Allies, watched with germinating provocation as I understood it, that inside the German government, attitudes, how to deal with Russia are quite different, if not contradictory. The Green Party is demandinga more harsher tint towards Moscow and the SPD a more accommodating standing vis–vis Russia.Dont we need, in this special situation, this crisis situation, a veryclear bulletin of strict and hard-handed sanctions to counter Moscows menaces? We need unification. But at the same time, I think we have to precisely be honest and say we are an Allianceof 30 Friends, 30 democracies with a lot of different parties and different autobiography, differentgeography from both sides of the Atlantic.So of course, there are different sentiments. And we seechanges in governments, so we will always examine, if you look for it, you are able to ever find differencesamong and between NATO Allies. And for me, thats not [] its not a weakness, its actuallya strong that we have all these different deems, as long as were able to agree around the coreresponsibility and that is to protect each other and likewise provide support to Ukraine. Andwe have agreed around that core exercise. So, for example, we had a statement just beforeChristmas from all 30 Collaborators about foisting a heavy rate, imposing sanctions on Russia ifthey use force against Ukraine. Again, patronizing Ukraine, but likewise making sure that we are readyto protect and attack all Ally. So, on the core undertaking we agree, but then, of course, there aredifferent views and assessment among 30 Allies. You satisfied the Chancellor, Olaf Scholz today.Haveyou got the impression that he is moving towards perhaps a harsher style, a more decidedstrategy to, to deal with Russia? Well, I study the Chancellor Scholz shouldspeak on behalf of himself. We had a joint news conference and I think he gave a veryclear message today that, of course, we dont dont accept any use of force against asovereign independent country, Ukraine. And, actually, Germany both has helped NATOto provide support to Ukraine. Germany has imposed heavy sanctions universally subscribed from thepolitical parties in Germany.Also, when Scholz was Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister on Russiaafter the illegal takeover of Crimea in 2014. And Germany has been part of the military build-upof NATO in the eastern part of the Alliance. Germany is leading the battlegroup in Lithuania.So Germany, also with Chancellor . . . with, then, previously Ministers of finance Scholz andnow, likewise, Chancellor Scholz, Im absolutely certain that Germany will be supportive of theNATO approach to Russia when it comes to Ukraine. But til now, Germany is not saying that, for example, the use of Nord Stream 2 would be part of possible sanctions.And, for example, the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, said some weeks ago that Berlin should use Nord Stream 2 as a political bargaining chipwith Moscow. Are you . . . have you still kind of comprehension for this German position? Well, on Nord Stream 2, there are no agreement, theres actually disagreement among NATO Allies.Some are heavily against the brand-new pipe. Others are more in favour of its adoption at least saying thatthis is a business decision to be taken. Others the Chancellor himself? Yeah, but also in Germany there are different views and therefore NATO has not aunified position.But what NATO Allies agree on is that we need more diverse sources of thesupply of energy, including gas. And I study likewise NATO Collaborator have made very careful note of thefact that the regulatory authorities in Germany has now suspended the process of certifying thenew pipe, or opening up the new pipeline. And then I also took very much noteof the send from the International Energy Agency saying that actually Russiais now manipulating the European gas market, to help reduce equips. They couldincrease significantly renders of gas to Europe, as other gas suppliers have done. And theyrealso expending, or reducing vastly record low levels the quantities of gas in their storagefacilities.So of course, this just reveals the dangers of being too dependent on onesource, or supply when it comes to natural gas. You promised you will give us somemore details about your talks with Olaf Scholz. Did you mention, or did youspeak with him about Nord Stream 2? Not in the news conference, but in your . . . Yes, so we have discussed and that was one topic we also discussed.But again, my . . . NATOs position is that when we are not able to agree a common position then, on this issue, thereis no coalesced standing in NATO. So, in a way, NATO is extremely strong, particularly capable, butsometimes we are not able to reach consensus on the question of Nord Stream 2 you can just read thenewspapers and you can see that some Collaborator are very much against and others defend the pipeline.So, Mr Secretary General, even then in NATO, you sometimes have to agree to differ. Butlets move from Berlin to Moscow. Last week, weve various kinds of seen a week of disappointed finesse, pretty much, with talks aborted in Geneva, in Brussels, in Vienna. And one could kind of getthe impression that Moscow never certainly wanted to find a diplomatic solution to the current crisis.Was this your impression as well? I still recollect the photo of you being taken with a exceedingly stonyface, with the Deputy Foreign Minister, Grushko on one handwriting, on the one back, and the DeputyMinister of Defence, Fomin, on the other side. So satisfy share with us your impression.And time you think that there is any or was ever any flexible on the Russian side? I think its too early to judge, too early to say whether there is a possibility to reach someprogress, some results, in the diplomatic efforts. We welcome the fact that Russia and 30 Allieswere able to sit down.For more than two years, NATO has[ been] trying to convene a meeting onthe NATO-Russia Council, and last week we had that cros. We had four hours of discussionson a wide range of topics, Ukraine and its situation in Europe. We didnt concur. Thediscussions is therefore difficult. But thats exactly why they were important. And thats a good ratify thatwe were, together, addressing these challenges. Then I also welcome the fact that therewere bilateral talks the United Regime, Russia.The United Country have consulted onevery step together with European Allies, both before and after those meetings. So Ally arealso involved in those bilateral talks, Russia, the United States. And then “weve had” the OSCE andthen we have, likewise, exertions by Germany. I commend Germany for trying to reintegrate andto strengthen the Normandy Format. So there are now many efforts. We dont haveno guarantee, of course, that we will succeed. But the opposite: not to try is obviously wrong. So, I have negotiated with Russia before. WhenI was “Ministers ” of Norway, we agreed on a delimitation pipeline in the High North, in theBarents Sea, on force considers, on issues as armed wires of communications, and likewise fisheryand many other issues. And I are well aware possible to talk to Russia. I know its possible to makedeals with Russia. That doesnt mean that we will be able to do that this time. But I think we allhave to make a serious effort and NATO is making a serious effort.And I have today invitedall the members of the NATO-Russia Council to participate in a series ofmeetings addressing different issues. So, we are still. And then its forRussia to decide whether they will engage in these talks in good faith, sit down, orwhether they just use this as a pretext for once again using force against a neighbour.And if I may come in, Mr Secretary General, are you idealistic that this invitation to engage intalks in the purposes of the NATO-Russia Council, will that see now positively by theRussian side? Will they is submitted in response to it? I fantasize, undoubtedly, Im . . . Im realistic.I think its not clear whether they will, whether we will be able to make any real progress.But at least from the NATO side, we are really ready to sit down and . . . and we know thatwe have been able to agree with Russia before. For instance, one of the issues we areopen to discuss is arms control and rockets, which is one of theconcerns that Russia has raised. And we are ready.We had, actually, a ban onall intermediate range missiles with the INF treaty. And then we investigated the Russian violations.But if Russia is willing to sit down and have reciprocal, balanced arms control agreementson conventional or atomic weapon, of course we are in favour of that. And then wecan discuss in what . . . some of the nuclear issues have to be bilateral mediation Russiaand the United Government but all NATO Allies are affected, so, of course, we needNATO Allies to be very much involved as NATO Allies were involved in the process when theINF Treaty banning all intermediate range artilleries were agreed to back in 1987. Right, you say, I make, its possible to deal and to do deals with Russia and its been possiblebefore.But one of the central questions that beings, you know, in countless Western funds “ve been trying to”, various kinds of, fold their abilities around is the question: what actually goes on in Putins mindand what is it that he actually wants? So it seems to me that he kind of alreadyattained two important goals, namely, first of all, frustrating that, at least in theforeseeable future, Ukraine will be able to join NATO. Thats one. And then too, talking to USPresident Biden, kind of on an equal footing, from various kinds of global supremacy to world-wide influence, if you will.So these are things that he already achieved. And the issues to is, and the question I wouldbe interested in hearing your answer to: what else does he miss? Is it all about turningthe clock back on European defence? Is it about a Yalta 2.0 time? So, in one way, Russia and also then President Putin have statedvery clearly what they want in the two treaties, final and binding pacts, they have proposed forthe United States and for NATO.And core articles, funds, in those treaties are clearlyviolating core principles for European security. It is stated clearly that NATO should have nofurther enlargement , no new members of NATO. And of course, that flouts the whole idea thatevery nation has the right to choose its own path. And it is not just about Ukraine.This is also about, for example, the freedom for Sweden and Finland to join someday, if they so decide. And therefore, I think it was very interesting to listen to the FinnishPresident, who actually used his New Years speech this year to say that, Finland is not applyingfor full membership, but we dont countenanced, we will strongly oppose the idea thatRussia should ratify a deal with NATO ruling out the possibility for Finland anytime in the future to become a NATO member because this is about Finlands right tochoose its own path. The same was the send from the Swedish Prime Minister. So, well, my message on Ukraine is that Ukraine and Ukraines relationship to NATO, thats forUkraine and 30 Allies to decide , no one else. And that applies for all other countries.The whole idea that, anyway, big powers can decide what smaller neighbours can do ornot do that is to move us back to Yalta, or to an age of spheres of influence.We dontwant to go there. Im coming from a small country, five million people bordering Russia. And ofcourse, when we joined NATO in 1949, the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin were heavily opposedto that. But at that time, London, Washington, Paris, they said, No, Norway has the right tojoin and they allowed us to join.And this is the principle of self-determinationthat should apply for every nation. That place is well-taken. But coming backto kind of decision making in Moscow, so you believe that the decision on what to dowith Ukraine has still not been originated in Moscow? I dont believe there any final . . . there isno certainty, at least, about what the intent with the Russian military build-up is. We needto prepare for the worst. We consider the build-up. We witness the rant. We know the track record.At the same time, I think its also important to understand that there are many channels for Russiato conduct vigorous acts against Ukraine. It can be a full-fledged invasion with tens ofthousands of troops and heavy armor and all that and missiles and air attacks.But wehave also seen and know that Russia has the capabilities of doing many otherforms of . . . or imparting many other forms of aggressive wars: heavy, veryserious cyberattacks, efforts to try to create insults or what we call false flagoperations, to try to oust the authorities concerned in Kiev, more smaller military operations to createa land bridge from Russia to Crimea. There are many potentials which are a bitsmaller than a full-fledged invasion. And also the possibility that Russia will try todeny any responsibility for, for instance, insults or attempts to interfere in thepolitical operations in[ Ukraine ]. I say that because we need to be prepared, likewise, to react toother scenarios than the full-fledged invasion. Plus, if we go beyond Ukraine, theres, I intend, there are even more worrying scenarios. Our colleagues from Der Spiegel have a veryinteresting section in the current edition saying that even at NATO, there are apparentlypeople who are concerned with a much broader attack on a . . . kind of, on variou figureheads, namely, sort of, Russian magnetisms potentially exerting their existence in the Mediterranean, in thenorthern Atlantic, in the Arctic to various kinds of certainly strike on a broad front.I signify, thats very hardto conceive, but do you think thats a . . . is that thinkable at all, or is that time a scenario? Many things are thinkable and, of course, we need to be prepared for numerous scenarios.And theres ever the possibility that a tense situation in one lieu can abruptly moveto another place. Thats absolutely possible. At the same time, I think if I now started, asSecretary General of NATO, to ponder about all those potential situations, I would just addto the tensions. So I repute now the important thing is to try to reduce tensions.Its to call on Russia to de-escalate. Russia is the aggressor. They have … theyreresponsible for the military build-up. So I think that instead of speculating about allpossibilities, I can just assure all NATO Ally that we are ready to. We have proposes in place.We are monitoring. We have intelligence. We are following whats going on in and around Ukraine, but also, of course, along our own borders, abroad. And NATO is always ready to react. And wehave over the last . . . since 2014, actually implemented the biggest reinforcement of ourcollective excuse since the end of the Cold War, partly with more existence in the easternpart of the Alliance, with the battlegroups. Before Crimea, before 2014, it wasabsolutely impossible to foresee a attendance of NATO battlegroups in the Balticcountries and Poland , now we have them. We have air policing.We have more navalpresence. We have tripled the size of the NATO Response Force as a result of whatRussia did against Ukraine the last time. And of course, we are following whats happeningin the High North or in the Mediterranean. So, we are here. We are vigilant and of course, thestrength of NATO is that we bring North America and Europe together. Together, North America andEurope, we are by far the strongest military power in the world. So as long as we stand united . . . Which “re not” ever doing. No , no , no, but on the core chore, to protectand defend, the European Allies and NATO stand together.Britta? Let us talk about what will happen now inthe following days. The Russians are waiting for a written statement with new proposals fromthe West, but the Russian Foreign Minister already said that they wont wait indefinitely for aresponse.He said, We have run out of patience. Can you impart us a kind of timetable? What willhappen now in the . . . the coming week, next week? So, we will soon convey our proposals[ in writing] to Russia. We have procreated that clear to them. They know it. And those written suggestions will reflectour serious readiness to sit down and engage in serious talks about substance: on arms control, on measures to have more transparency on armed acts, missiles, many other issues. But weare not ready to compromise on core principles: the right for us to attack all NATO Friend andthe claim for every nation to choose his own move. And then it will be up to Russia to respondand then to hopefully come to the meetings I have invited them to join or to attend.Today, you did it today? Yeah, today I ran an invitation toall members of the NATO-Russia Council, which is the institution we have to make sure thatEuropean Allies, NATO Ally and Russia meet and address issues of common concern. So, of course, we will likewise listen to the Russian concerns. Thats part of having a dialogue, is that we alsolisten to the other part and envision what can we do and to deal with them without compromisingon core principles for European security. But Russias quest for security guarantees andNATOs open door plan appear to have been incompatible positions.So how could a compromisesolution look like? What could it be? So, first of all, these principles are importantfor all Ally and we cant compromise on the principles of every nations right to chooseits own path. But then I think that if theres going to be any diplomatic progress, anydiplomatic mixture on any issue, we need to not conduct finesse in public.Theres no way we can reach any agreement on anything if we exchange all theproposals and all the comments in the media. I have great respect for discussions like this, but its not in this, as a gathering, we will actually reach agreements with Russia. We need to sit downand have talks without publicising exactly what we are talking about at every moment.You mentioned it already, Russia was contriving a false . . . orisstill planninga fictitiou flag operation to justify, perhaps, an takeover. Apparently, Russian Special Servicesare preparing insults against Russian violences. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, theUS National Security Adviser, said last week, We saw this playbook in 2014 and theyare preparing this playbook again. What kind of intelligence information do youhave approving these activities and strives? We share intelligence among Allies.We have seenintelligence also indicating that Russia has not only a military build-up along their own borders, butthey have also more ability agents inside Ukraine. And of course, trying to undermine thegovernment, the institutions and too absolutely possible that they are also planning for differentincidents, accidents, false pennant runnings, that can create . . . Possible or strengthened? So “were not going” go into the details of theintelligence we have. But have information confirming what the United Regime told theworld a few days ago, that that there is a significant Russian presence of intelligenceofficers or operatives inside Ukraine. We likewise considered large-scale cyberattack on Ukrainiangovernment websites. I study various departments were concerned, including the Ministry of ForeignAffairs.Ukraines Information Minister said the firstly data suggests that the attack was carriedout by the Russian Federation. What can NATO do to avoid further affects of this proportion? So, NATO and NATO Friend provision significant support to Ukraine to help them to strengthentheir cyber explanations. And we have also ratified a deal with them recently, how NATO canprovide more technological assistant. And then I also read, for example, today the Chancellor informed methat Germany is ready too to provide more professionals to Ukraine to help them strengthen their cyberdefences and protect their cyber networks. So when it comes to cyber, NATO and NATOAllies support Ukraine and are helping them to defend themselves against cyber attacks.But here i am general reinforce that has always been there and now its additionalsupport in this crisis situation? Well, Germany announced, or the ForeignMinister Baerbock announced that they are ready to provide more experts.I am not able totell you exactly what Germany plans to do, but that has been announced. And thats one example ofthe many Allies that are providing different types of support. And some have also announced theirwillingness to step up in the light of the attack. But the attack that we examined a few days ago is notthe first affect. So this is a kind of consistent threat and countless onrushes over a long period oftime. So we have been aware of the risk for cyberattacks for a very long time, and thats exactlywhy NATO as an Alliance, but also individual Ally have already started to provide significantsupport to Ukraine on the issue of cyber defence. Okay. Nora, I think we have thefirst questions coming in from . . . We have a flurry of questions coming in, Britta.And nows one Ill pass over to you, Mr Secretary General. It comes from[ call inaudible] whoscurrently at the GMF in Washington, D.C. and her question is: NATO declared in its 2008 Bucharestdeclaration that Ukraine and Georgia will become a member of NATO one day, whenever that may be.Has this become a strategic impasse for NATO? I was at that Summit as Norwegian Prime Ministerback in 2008 and I retain are you all right and again, its no secret that there were different scenes but, and then we agreed on that decision, means that we declared that these countrieswill become members of NATO.We have reiterated that position manytimes since then, but we didnt supply any timeline or we didnt grantwhat is called the Membership Action Plan. We think that the important thing for Ukraineis to focus on reforms, is to focus on meeting NATO standards.And of course, Ukraine have some serious challenges when it comesto, for example, fighting corruption and to meet all the NATO standards. And we helpthem with our capacity building programmes with the NATO Office in Kiev, with expertsNATO and NATO Ally are sending to try to address these challenges, to combat corruption, tomodernise their defence and security institutions. That is good in itself because itmakes Ukraine less susceptible. It makes Ukraine a better-functioningsociety, better governance, greater transparency. And, in addition, it movesUkraine closer to membership. And thats what were do. And I think that we will continue todo that, focus on reform to meet NATO standards. I know, Mr Secretary General, that youre notin the business of conjecturing, but still, nows an interesting armed question, in fact, it comes from Philip L ., a observer of our live stream.And Philip asks: howlong would it take NATO member states to mobilise a same number of soldiers as Russia has alreadydone, move them together on NATOs eastern border? So we are able to move a significant amount offorces, promptly if needed. As I said, “were having” tripled the dimensions of the the NATO Response Force. Andof course, individual Collaborators too have the forces that they can deploy soon, if needed .[] speedily? No, but I symbolize, again, I will not go intooperational items. But we have forces, “were having” means and we are exercising for differentscenarios. But I conclude also you have to understand the following, is that, as long as we haveNATO and we have the commitment to protect and defend one another, of course, for example, in northern Norway Im from Norway there are not many makes, but..Norway is part of NATO, so we know if NATO . . . if Norway was attacked, the whole of NATO would come to our buoy. Thesame in the Baltic sea region. We have a battlegroup, around thousands and thousands of, in each of the Balticcountries. Then of course, we have the national home coerces of the different individualcountries Lithuania, Latvia and so on. But of course, compared to the tens of thousandsof troops we have on the other side of their own borders, Russian, our forces are small. But themessage is that since NATOs already there, since we have a multinational existence, any attackon any NATO Ally will prompt a response from the whole Alliance. And thats deterrence.And the purpose of deterrence is not to elicit fuelling conflict, its actually not evento fight a fight, but its to prevent a campaign. So, the reason Im saying this is that thishas worked for 72 years. For instance, Berlin, West Berlin was part of NATO, we never hadforces in West Berlin that could anyway stand up against the Red Army or the WarsawPact forces if they decided to invade West Berlin.But West Berlin was never infested orattacked, because they knew that the whole NATO, including the United State, were behind.So thats the meaning of deterrence, and thats the theme of NATO.Hmm. So deterrence get to work? Yeah, it absolutely does work for 72 times, and itwill continue to work, as long as we remain united. But its one . . . a very important thing aboutthat, and that is that deterrence succeeds because we are so strong when we are together, meaning thatwe have to keep North America and Europe together. Because we see now that theUnited Nation, but too Canada or the United Kingdom being a Europeancountry but are not an EU member, of course, what they provide to our shared insurance, ourcollective defence is crucial. And we, as Europeans, too have to kind of doour own homework when it comes to our security capabilities.There are some people saying thatthe EU in this current crisis has kind of been missing in action. I think thats probably notentirely fair. But the European reaction to all of this is rather meagre, I would say.So the question to you, as NATO Secretary General, how concerned are you that Europeis still not able to kind of . . . I recall the Chancellor, the onetime ChancellorMerkel formerly said, to kind of take its fate into its own hand, to provide for its ownsecurity, is that a matter of concern for you? So, first of all, Im a strong supporterof the European Union and I have, in my national capability, I campaigned twice toconvince the Norwegian parties to vote Yes and for Norway to join the The european institutions. I lost.No , no, but I mean, I had already been campaigned for the The european institutions, becauseI genuinely believe in the idea of the European Union. I believe the European Unionis extremely important for our economies, for the environment, for cooperation across Europe. Soits genuinely a strong and important institution. And I also welcome the fact that overthe last years weve been able to lift NATO-EU cooperation to unprecedented levels.Weconsult closely with the European lead. And too, on Ukraine, I satisfy recently withPresident Ursula von der Leyen, we discussed Ukraine, I actually went to the Balticcountries together with her a few weeks ago and . . . and I extended straight-shooting from theNATO-Russia Council last week in Brussels, with NATO Allies and Russia, to the EU defenceminister meeting in Brest, where I briefed them and we consulted on these issues. And of course, the EU has an important role to play, extremely, for example, when it comes to imposing sanctions.So the EU has a place . . . a capacity to play. At the same time, I think we have to understandthat Europe is at the table when NATO is there. When we had the meet of the NATO-RussiaCouncil, well 30 Allies, out of which 28 are European Allies, representing 600 millionEuropeans.So of course, Europe is at the table, because NATO is Europe and North America together.Thats what impels NATO so unique, is that we bring Europe and North America together.And actually, in reality, we dont have a European securityarchitecture, we have a transatlantic protection design. Thats the purpose of NATO, is to bring that together. Two World Wars, remind us, have taught us the importance of havingEurope and The americas together. So . . . so, the work requires transatlantic insurance. And then, ofcourse, European security is part of that. Then, I would also like to add that Iwelcome European efforts on excuse, on afford new abilities, onstrengthening the European defence industry, on the European Defence Fund, PESCO, all that isgreat, I strongly support it.And, of course, any meaningful European effort on defencestarts with more expend. And theres one institution that has been calling on moreEuropean defence spending and thats NATO. So thats great. What I dont think is needed ismore organizations. We need more European defense capabilities: readiness, aircrafts, ships, all thesethings, a more competitive defence industry, but . . . but Europe has a readinessforce thats the NATO Response Force. And every time Europe has called for us tohelp them in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Kosovo, or, actually, the Libya operation the Libyaoperation was originally a European initiative, NATO was not at the table when thatdecision was taken. Then, after some time, the Europeans came to NATO and asked for helpand NATO helped them.So every time Europe goes to NATO and asks for help, then we are there.We worked together with them in Kosovo. We have NATO corps in Kosovo supporting the efforts ofEuropean diplomats. So we have a Response Force, an intervention force: the NATO ResponseForce. And Europe is part of that. Europe is part of that, Mr Secretary General andis Europe also part of the discussion when it comes to resolving the Ukraine crisis? Theres, of course, the issue of reviving the Normandy Format. What we do hear from Foreign MinisterBaerbocks visit to Moscow and her talks with her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov is that, youknow, very cautiously, there may be some positive interferences when it comes to a revival ofthis Format, or at least, you know, a sense that there is not a clearno-no to this? How do you be understood that? Of route, Europe is part of the consultationson Ukraine and how to deal with that. Because, as I said, 28 out of NATOs 30 representative 28 are European, representing 600 million Europeans.There are more Europeans in NATOthan in the European Union. So . . . so, Europe is at the table. Thats not the question.But then, of course, I welcome the efforts of the The european institutions. But, of course, we have Allieswho are not members of the European Union. We have the United kingdom government. And so, again, I am infavour of the European Union and Id like my own country to be part of it, but not all Europeancountries are components: not the United Kingdom , not Turkey , not Norway , not Iceland. And someof the[ Balkan] countries are members of NATO, but not the The european institutions. So thats the reasonwhy we have 600 million Europeans living in NATO countries. And they are they, theyare . . . they too . . . thats Europe. But then, the European Union has an importantrole to play as an institution.But sometimes we are mixing the The european institutions and Europe as thatis one thing no, thats two different things. And I considered that the EuropeanUnion and especially, for example, European countries like France and Germany, theyhave a very important role to play, for instance, in the Normandy Format. Thats good. Then we havetwo European countries hiring, very important, I patronage that strongly. But of course, sometimeswe need all Europeans at the counter. And then, of course, the large-scale tent is either the OSCE or NATO, that introducing countless European countries to the table. We asked you to look into Putins head, I wouldlike to ask you to look into Lavrovs head, since we are watched the press conferenceAnnalena Baerbock and Lavrov opened today. And as the represents and the tonality of statementsare so important these days, I had the impression that at least there was no more escalation.Itsperhaps too early to say that this was a kind of a first step towards de-escalation. I dontknow if you could follow that, but what is your impression these days? Where is Moscow? Whereis Lavrov? Is there greater flexibility than perhaps last week to, for example, participateor to accept your summon for further talks? So, I was not able to watch that news conference, Ive attended many different intersects in Berlin today, but I truly hope that the meeting thatthe Foreign Secretary, the Foreign Minister of Germany, Baerbock had with the Russian ForeignMinister Lavrov had some kind of positive the results and it helped to move towards a real politicaldialogue. I think its simply too early. I believe now the United Mood and NATO has made it clear thatwe are ready to meet again, were invited for more gathers and we will convey our proposals.Then I think we need to see what Russia says and that will be kind of the pivotal moment.So what are we would like to have? Will there be a period of, like, 2 weeks of more talksand discussions? I know that you cant say and predate the future, but … No, we will submit our proposals in the near future and then . . . and then hopefully wecan start finds soon after that. That will be up to Russia to decide. Because we, of course, to have dialogue, we need Russia at the counter, to have any meaningful talk onthe situation in and around Ukraine. But on the other side, theres a certainkind of time pressure, as I . . .? Yes, we have seen what Russia has beensaying and . . . and, of course, I think its the easiest thing to supposed to do now, and the quickestthing, would be for Russia to de-escalate, to remove their obliges and to stop thethreatening rhetoric. And then we can sit down and have, you know, important discussions aboutsome serious long-term concerns, for example, arms control. I grew up with the SS-2 0and the Pershing, the cruise missile and we supported against those missiles.And then we were all so relieved when we had the INF Treaty in 87. And now we have seenthe demise of that compact. So anything that can re-establish verifiable, balanced arms control onmissiles in Europe is very much welcomed by NATO. But of course, to agree those technological things, proof mechanism, that makes some time. So the best thing would be for Russia to justde-escalate, remove troops and then we can engage bilaterally in, NATO, Russia, in serioustalks about many things, including arms control. So, today we are Tuesday, would you saythat the following days are significant to see where Moscow is heading to, or …? I think that first, we should now submit our proposals to Russia and then we have tosee the Russian reaction on that. That will be extremely important for whether we really canhave serious discussions. They have asked us to submit written propositions. We have told themthat we are ready to do so. We will do that, we are working on that in NATO now, and as soon astheyre ready they will be sent to Moscow and then we have to wait and understand the Russian response.Okay. So we have to keep patient. Yeah. And I think its a good thing to be a bitpatient when you speak about peace. So, I believe we should spend the time that is needed and we areready to sit down in the near future and to start a dialogue. And I also issued an invitation today.Okay. Secretary General, thank you for asking for taking the time in themiddle of a crisis place. Thank you, Nora, and expressed appreciation for for watchingus and sending your questions.We time all hope that the situation will not escalate any more, butperhaps de-escalate. Have a nice night. Goodbye ..

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