“The enlargement of NATO has been extremely important for stability, and peace and freedom, and democracy in Europe,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the extraordinary meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs on Friday.
Jens Stoltenberg stressed that “the enlargement of NATO and the European Union really helped in the last decades to spread and to strengthen democracy, freedom in Europe.”
“It is not that NATO dragged the countries into our Alliance. It has been decisions by independent nations to democratic processes to their free, independent decisions that they wanted to join NATO. And after a process, we have excepted new members on our Alliance. By doing so, we helped to protect democracy and freedom throughout Europe,” Jens Stoltenberg underscored.
NATO Secretary General pledged that “we stand by our decisions at the Bucharest Summit when it comes to Ukraine and Georgia,” stressing the importance of reforms to meet NATO standards.
“This is about respecting free, democratic decisions by individual nations in Europe. We demonstrate, NATO demonstrated last year that NATO’s door remains open by admitting North Macedonia and Montenegro as new members of the Alliance. Then we stand by our decisions at the Bucharest Summit when it comes to Ukraine and Georgia. We support and help them on their way towards the Euro-Atlantic integration with reforms, with practical and political support and I strongly believe that, partly, it is important to send a message that reforms are important, partly because it is a way to meet NATO standards but it also makes the societies of Ukraine and Georgia stronger. So, resilient, well-functioning societies are also less vulnerable for interference from Russia. So, we will continue to provide support and continue to work with Georgia and Ukraine to move forward,” Jens Stoltenberg stated.
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) January 7, 2022