tv NATO Secretary- General Remarks at World Economic Forum CSPAN May 30, 2022 2:58am-3:26am EDT
i think the war in ukraine has put in a nato front and center of the discussion on the future of security and stability in europe. as a result, finland and sweden have formerly -- formally applied to join the alliance, and next month nato leaders will meet to agree on the strategic priorities for the alliance for the next decade. it is therefore my great pleasure to invite you to the stage to share with our audience here in davos, and globally, the impact of the war in ukraine and the long-term implications on the world of strategic competition. welcome, mr. secretary-general. [applause]
>> many thanks. it is great to be back here in davos and see you all in person after two years without this gathering. for half a century the world economic forum has brought the global community together to exchange ideas, insights, and solutions. on some of the world's most difficult problems. today we need the spirit of davos even more. sorry. [laughter] president putin's war on ukraine has shattered peace in europe. if he is really a game-changer. not just for european security, but for a global order. nato has two fundamental tasks
in response to rush's aggression. providing support to ukraine and preventing the war from escalating. for many years nato and nato allies have supported ukraine. in particular the united states. canada. the united kingdom. and also turkey. providing equipment and training for tens of thousands of ukrainian soldiers, we see the difference this is making every day on the battlefield. since russia's invasion we have significantly stepped up our support. with billions of dollars, weapons, and other assistance. to help ukraine uphold its right to self-defense. enshrined in the u.n. charter. nato's main responsibility is to protect all allies.
and prevent this war from escalating. causing even greater death and destruction. we may have been shocked by russia's riddle invasion, but we should not be surprised. this invasion was one of the best-predicted acts of military aggression ever. in nato we shared intelligence and made the intelligence public. for many months. to warn about putin's plans. rush's attack on ukraine is part of a pattern over years, where moscow uses military force to achieve its political aims. the destruction, the invasion of
georgia, the annexation of crimea, the bombing of aleppo, and now the war in ukraine. since the first invasion of ukraine in 2014, nato has been adapting and preparing. with -- we have increased defense spending and invested in modern capabilities. we deployed battle groups in the eastern part of our alliance for the first time in our history. we increased the forces and established new defense domains, including space and cyberspace. when russia invaded ukraine again this year nato was ready. we employed additional forces to the east of our alliance.
today we have over 40,000 troops under nato command, backed by significant air and naval assets. we doubled the number of multinational battle groups from the baltic to the black sea. and we have thousands of troops on high alert. ready to respond to any aggression and defend every inch of nato territory. this is the challenge. to remove any room for misunderstanding or miscalculation in moscow. not to provoke a conflict, but to prevent a conflict and preserve peace. last december president putin presented an ultimatum to nato.
he demanded a legally-binding treaty to rewrite the security architecture in europe, to reestablish spheres of influence, to force nato to withdraw from the eastern part of our alliance, and to end nato enlargement. he wanted less nato on his borders. and launched a war. now he is getting more nano on his borders. and more members. finland and sweden's decision to apply for nato membership is historic. it demonstrates that european security will not be dictated by violence and intimidation. all allies agree that nato
enlargement has been a great success. spreading freedom and democracy across europe. so i am confident that we will be able to find a way to address all our security concerns. and welcome nato's closest partners into our family of free nations. in the meantime, nato's vigilance in the all taxi region. allies have increased their presence. we have stepped up exercises and deployments, and for the first time ever a u.s. amphibious ready group has been placed under nato command. finland and sweden's membership would also strengthen the close bond between nato and the
european union. european security and transatlantic security are deeply intertwined. today close to 600 million europeans live in a nato country. and 93% of the eu population is protected by nato. the ever-closer coordination between nato and the european union has been critical for dealing with the current crisis. as you just heard also from the lion, nato allies and the european union have imposed unprecedented sanctions on putin's war machine. countries have joined us and also applied sanctions. and hundreds of international companies have pulled out of russia.
these massive sanctions reminds also one of the important lessons from this conflict. that we should not trade long-term security needs for short-term economic interests. the war in ukraine demonstrates how economic rations with authoritarian regimes can create fuller abilities. overreliance on commodities like energy. risks exporting advanced technologies like artificial intelligence. and critical infrastructure like 5g.
this is about russia, but also about china. another authoritarian regime that does not share our values, and that undermines the rules-based international order. international trade has undoubtedly brought great prosperity. i and many of us here today, have worked hard to promote a more globalized economy. but we must recognize that our economic choices have consequences for our security. freedom is more important than free-trade.
the protection of values is more important than profit. at the nato summit in madrid next month nato leaders will make bold decisions. to continue to strengthen and adapt for this more dangerous and competitive world. the conflict in ukraine has underlined the importance of north america standing together in nato. and working with our like-minded partners to defend our values and promote peace and prosperity. in the spirit of the world, i count on you too. thank you. >> thank you very much, secretary-general.
i just wanted to follow-up on your last points related to values. i think you said something to the effect of, that we have to be willing to face the realities and pay a price for our freedom. and what has been done in the past, in hindsight that you would have done differently, and how will this affect future policy? are you addressing the nord stream 2 indirectly? sec. gen. stoltenberg: yes. not just indirectly, but directly. i think we have learned a lesson. you and i have been to in politics, arguing strongly in favor of free trade agreements with the european union, globalization of the economy, and more global trade and more global economy free-trade has brought a lot of prosperity and wealth to all of us.
but the problem is that it has a price. because some of this trade, some of this economic interaction with authoritarian regimes is undermining our security. then we have to choose security instead of vulnerability and overreliance on authoritarian regimes. so this idea that we should have free-trade in natural gas, leaning we can buy as much gas from russia as we want, that is wrong. it is dangerous. it provides russia with the tools to intimidate and use against us. that is clearly demonstrated now. i regret to say it, because i remember in the 1990's in norway we thought we could expand the european gas market with supplies from norway, north africa, and russia together. trade with china has huge
benefits. i'm not arguing against trade with china, but i'm arguing that control over 5g network is a vital security importance. we cannot see in the interest of profits and free-trade we open up those networks also for suppliers that actually are not reliable when it comes to our security. nato's technological edge, that we will always be in command of the most advanced technologies, has been fundamental for our security. now we see disruptive systems. this is integrated into all of the new modern weapon systems. if we just share that technology we may earn some money, but we
will also undermine our security. and therefore freedom is more important than free-trade. and protecting values is more important than profits. that is a lesson i think we all have to take into account. meaning, this has to impact the way we organize our economies. >> thank you, secretary-general. you also said that what putin got as a result of his war on ukraine was more nato. is this developing into, like, a vietnam war-like situation for mr. putin? do you think he regrets this? sec. gen. stoltenberg: i will not speculate about his feelings, but he made a big strategic mistake. because i believe that one of the purposes, one of the stated purposes, actually, with his invasion of ukraine, was to get less nato on rush's borders.
and in the legally-winding treaty sent in december, it was clearly stated, no more nato enlargement. now he gets more nato enlargements. and he has not achieved his strategic goals in ukraine. the goal was to take kyiv, decapitate the government, and control the country. he has been forced to withdraw his forces from the north of the country. russian forces have been pushed out of the region, and the offense in donbass is moving very slowly. i'm not predicting the outcome of this war. no one can do that. but i'm only saying the obvious thing, that russia did not achieve its goals in ukraine. this plan was a short military operation. it is a long, costly war for
russia. we welcome the fact that sweden -- finland and sweden have applied for nato membership. i am confident that we will be able to address the concerns that have in expressed and we will be able to welcome finland and sweden as members of our alliance. >> just a follow-up on finland and sweden, two countries that you know very well and neighbors of norway, where you were prime minister for a decade. you say you are welcoming them, and i believe that is welcome in helsinki, but not in ankara. how do you deal with the challenge from mr. erdogan? sec. gen. stoltenberg: i spoke with mr. erdogan on saturday, and we are seeing statements and turkey has expressed concerns related to terrorism, to their security interests.
and then we have to do what we always do in nato, and that is to sit down and address concerns when allies express concerns. and i'm confident we will able to do as we have so many times before, find a way to solve this issue and agree and then to welcome finland and sweden as full-fledged members of our alliance. i know finland and sweden well, as in your region. they will contribute to our collective defense, our shared security. it will be of particular importance for the baltic region. let me also highlight i also recognize the importance of addressing concerns. turkey is an important ally.
there strategic location is important for the whole alliance, ordering iraq and syria. they've been key in the fight against isis. and, then, of course, you have to remember that no other nato ally has suffered more than turkey, and no other ally holds more refugees than turkey. so we have to sit down and find a way forward. i'm confident we will do so in the meantime. -- in the meantime we have to address concerns that finland and sweden have raised about this interim period. that is why we also have to increase our presence in the baltic region and more presence in that region of europe. >> thank you. you also said, secretary-general, you cannot predict the outcome of the war
in ukraine. i think many participants at davos also ask themselves the question, can this in the in a full-fledged war between russia and nato? sec. gen. stoltenberg: nato allies and provide support to our valued partner, ukraine, as we have done for many years, since 2014. stepped up now, of course. our core responsibility is to protect and defend allies. therefore we need to make sure this brutal, heinous war does not escalate to full-fledged war in europe between nato and europe. that is the reason why we made it clear that we will support ukraine to uphold the rights for self-defense and -- enshrined in the u.n. charter, but nato will not be part of the war.
we will not send in nato troops on the ground. support, yes, not be directly involved. also the reason why we saw -- we so significantly have increased our military presence, especially in the eastern part of the alliance, there are 30% more u.s. troops in europe now. we have 40,000 troops under nato command in the eastern part of the alliance. significantly increased over the last month since the invasion. and we have significant air and naval presence. this is not to provoke. this is to make sure that there is no room for any miscalculation in moscow about nato's ability to protect every ally so they don't think about attacking a baltic country or another nato ally. as long as they are certain that
the whole of nato will come to the defense of any ally, one for all, all for one, a core of nato, then they will not attack. that is the reason why we have strength and deterrence, to promote peace. >> thank you. les question. we just heard the president of the european commission, ursula von der leyen, talk about europe and eu's response to the war by unity and support. how do you feel about the prospects for a closer cooperation between nato and the eu security and defense matters moving forward? sec. gen. stoltenberg: i strongly believe in cooperation between the european union and nato, and ursula von der leyen and i meet regularly. we meet in different ways, and i'm proud that since 2014 we have been able to list nato/eu
cooperation to unprecedented levels. when sweden and finland join 96% of the people living in the european union will live in a nato country, protected by nato. and 96% of eu territory will be nato territory. so we share much of the same population, much of the shame -- the same neighbors. it makes reason to closely work with nato and the european union, and we have seen in this crisis how the eu has been instrumental, providing support, imposing sanctions, and also coordinating with nato allies, the united states, the united kingdom, and others. i also welcome efforts on defense, because as ursula von der leyen mentioned, the european div -- the european defense industry is a problem for your band made of. there are many cattle tanks. in europe we have quite a few
battle tanks and nine different types. no economy of scale. a lot of costs for maintenance, education, and so on. this is almost every capability that there is too much fragmentation. the european defense fund will have to provide new capabilities, will have to overcome the fragmentation of the european defense industry, and will also help to increase defense spending. we welcome it. the only thing we have to make sure is that the eu efforts do not compete with nato or duplicate nato, because nato will remain the cornerstone for european security. this is about resources. 80% of nato's defense expenditures, from non-eu nato allies. it is about geography. norway and iceland in the north. turkey in the south.
and in the west, united states, canada, and the united kingdom are critical for the defense of europe. and it is about politics. because any attempt to divide europe, and north america, will not only weaken nato, it will divide europe. so we need europe and north america together with nato, working together with the european union. >> take you for your leadership and thank you for being here. [applause]