NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said last week that he had a “very good conversation” with President Biden at the White House. The NATO chief said the two leaders discussed a range of issues including Russia, China, global terrorism, cyber threats and climate change.
“I thank the President for his powerful commitment to the transatlantic bond, to Article 5 and his personal leadership on all these issues,” Stoltenberg said, speaking to reporters after the Oval Office meeting last week.
“We agreed that in a more competitive world we need to strengthen NATO and that we face security challenges which no ally can face alone, so therefore, we need to stand together in NATO.”
Stoltenberg said the countries at the NATO summit will agree to the group’s 2030 agenda, which is focused on strengthening their collective defenses, strengthening resilience, sharpening their technological edges and working with likeminded partners – something he said will require increased investment.
“A strong NATO is good for Europe, but it’s also good for the United States. No other major power has so many friends and allies, as the United States has in NATO. So I look forward to welcoming President Biden to Brussels,” Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg said both he and Biden agree on taking a dual track approach to Russia, with deterrence and defense but also dialogue.
“Dialogue with Russia is not a sign of weakness. We are strong, we are united, and then we can talk to Russia, and we need to talk to Russia, partly to strive for a better relationship, but even if we don’t believe in a better relationship with Russia, we need to manage a difficult relationship with Russia,” the Secretary General said.
Stoltenberg said he is glad Biden is meeting with the NATO allies before his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to take place Wednesday.
He also said that while NATO allies need to try to engage with China on issues like trade and climate change, the country does not share the values of NATO countries.
“We see that in the way they crack down on democratic protests in Hong Kong, how they deal with minorities, the Uyghurs, and how they coerce neighbors, and how they threaten Taiwan,” Stoltenberg said.
The NATO chief said the biggest challenge facing the group was that the world is much more unpredictable. He pointed to the increase in cyberattacks as an example of the unpredictable security environment.