NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

NATO Foreign Ministers Address Deterrence and Defence, Support for Ukraine, Partnerships

November 29, 2023

NATO Foreign Ministers met to discuss pressing security issues, including NATO’s deterrence and defence, support for Ukraine, and how to work more closely with partner nations. Speaking after the meeting, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Allies also expressed concern about the war in the Middle East, and reiterated their determination to support Ukraine’s path to NATO and to support them as they defend their country.

As Russia seeks to destabilise Allied democracies through cyber-attacks, energy blackmail and use of migrants against Finland, “NATO stands in solidarity with our Ally Finland”, the Secretary General said, prompting the closure of border crossing points.

Ministers discussed the situation in the Western Balkans, examining a more permanent increase of troop numbers in the region to keep the peace, and called on Türkiye and Hungary to complete the ratification process for Sweden’s membership of NATO as soon as possible.

Foreign Ministers also addressed the challenges that China presents to Euro-Atlantic security. Stressing that “China is not our adversary”, the Secretary General said that we “must be clear-eyed about the impact of China’s coercive policies on our security” and welcomed that Allies are engaging in dialogue with Beijing on issues of mutual concern. Highlighting that “the challenges we face are global”, he stressed the need to work more closely with partners, including in the Indo-Pacific, “to stand up for our values and interests”. On NATO’s southern neighbourhood, Mr. Stoltenberg said that he had appointed an independent group of experts to examine the challenges emanating from the region and that they will submit recommendations by next spring.

NATO Foreign Ministers also approved the Alliance’s first-ever quantum strategy and agreed to upgrade NATO’s AWACS fleet of aircraft, one of the Alliance’s biggest-ever capability purchases.