Sunday

17th Feb 2019

Nato chief defends alliance after Trump victory

  • Nato decided to deploy a Russia-deterrent force at a summit in Warsaw in July (Photo: nato.int)

Nato states had a “solemn” commitment to defend each other and the alliance was "important" for the US, Nato head Jens Stoltenberg has said in reaction to Donald Trump’s election as US president.

“Nato’s security guarantee is a treaty commitment. All allies have made a solemn commitment to defend each other. This is something which is unconditional and absolute”, he said in Brussels on Wednesday (9 November).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Stoltenberg: "Nato’s security guarantee is a treaty commitment" (Photo: Nato)

“Nato’s security guarantees are important for Europe, but they are also important for the United States”, he said.

He recalled that the only time the alliance had invoked its Article 5 mutual defence clause was to help the US after 9/11 in 2001.

He noted that Nato soldiers from Europe and Canada continued to support US-led campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He also invoked the history of transatlantic ties, saying Nato had “brought together America's closest friends in times of peace and in times of conflict for almost 70 years”.

Trump, who swept to victory on Tuesday, said during his campaign that the US would only protect Nato allies who were prepared to pay more for their own defence.

He has also praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin, amid Nato plans to deploy a Russia-deterrent force, with a large US component, in the Baltic and Black Sea regions next year.

When asked in Wednesday’s press briefing if Trump’s win would change that plan, Stoltenberg said “we have made important decisions, we are implementing those decisions”.

He also said there was agreement in Nato that it had to challenge “hybrid threats”, a term commonly used for Russia’s mix of covert military, economic, and information warfare.

Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, said he “looked forward” to meeting Trump “soon”.

He has, in the past, also complained that Nato states were not living up to promises to increase military budgets.

Stoltenberg spoke in Brussels after meeting Bosnian president Bakir Izetbegovic.

With Bosnia aspiring to join the alliance, Stoltenberg said Nato membership meant “greater security and greater prosperity”.

“Nato is and remains committed to stability in the Western Balkans”, he said.

Feature

What would a Trump victory mean for the EU?

A Trump win would cause cold sweats in Europe's chancelleries, but his foreign policy might not be as radical or as pro-Russian as his rhetoric.

Trump and Erdogan haunt Nato meeting

Kerry sought to allay fears that Trump will abandon Nato, saying the president-elect is already "revising" many of his campaign ideas.

Opinion

With Trump, this might not be fine

If the Trump’s administration doesn't turn out to be perfectly benign, being ready is what will stand between Europe and a geopolitical disaster of proportions unseen since 1945.

News in Brief

  1. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April
  2. 15,000 Belgian school kids march against climate change
  3. May suffers fresh Brexit defeat in parliament
  4. Warning for British banks over Brexit staff relocation
  5. Former Italian PM wants Merkel for top EU post
  6. Antisemitic incidents up 10% in Germany
  7. Italy's asylum rejection rate at record high
  8. Hungary will not claim EU funds for fraudulent project

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  2. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  4. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  6. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  7. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”

Latest News

  1. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  2. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  3. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK
  4. Belgian spy scandal puts EU and Nato at risk
  5. EU Parliament demands Saudi lobby transparency
  6. Saudi Arabia, but not Russia, on EU 'dirty money' list
  7. EU agrees draft copyright reform, riling tech giants
  8. Rutte warns EU to embrace 'Realpolitik' foreign policy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us