NATO Defence Ministers met in Brussels, on February 16th and 17th, “with our close partners Ukraine and Georgia; we addressed the continued threat of Russian aggression, the deteriorating security situation in the Black Sea region, and NATO’s strong political and practical support for both countries,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

In the face of the current crisis, and the importance to invest in Allies’ defence, NATO Ministers welcomed the progress made on burden-sharing across the Alliance: for the seventh consecutive year, all Allies increased their defence spending, keeping NATO military capabilities cutting edge.

Defence Ministers also discussed NATO’s next Strategic Concept, which will be adopted at the NATO Summit in Madrid in June. The Strategic Concept sets the Alliance’s strategy, outlining NATO’s enduring purpose and nature. It reaffirms NATO’s values, purpose and tasks; it provides a collective assessment of the security environment and drives the adaptation of the Alliance. NATO's current Strategic Concept is from 2010, and the world has fundamentally changed in the past decade: strategic competition is rising; security challenges are multiplying, in areas like cyber, technology and climate change.

NATO Defence Ministers also met with partners Finland, Sweden and the European Union to continue close consultations and further strengthen NATO-European Union cooperation: NATO’s partnership with the European Union is even more important at this critical moment for European security; the two organizations work together in many areas, including on cyber, building stability in the Western Balkans, and working together on maritime issues in the Aegean. New areas of cooperation cover resilience, emerging technologies, and the security impact of climate change.

“We share the same values. We face the same challenges. And the crisis in and around Ukraine affects us all. So we agree that it is even more important now that we continue to work together. And complement each other’s efforts to bring this crisis to a peaceful resolution,” the Secretary General said at the press conference on the second day of the meeting.