Friday

1st Jul 2022

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

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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.

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.

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.

Column

One rubicon after another

We realise that we are living in one of those key moments in history, with events unfolding exactly the way Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt describes them: a sudden crisis, rushing everything into overdrive.

News in Brief

  1. EU announces trade deal with New Zealand
  2. Russia threatens Norway over goods transit
  3. Russia urges Nato not to build bases in Sweden, Finland
  4. New president for European Committee of the Regions
  5. Gas flows from Spain to Morocco, after Western Sahara row
  6. BioNTech, Pfizer test 'universal' coronavirus vaccine
  7. UK sanctions second-richest Russian businessman
  8. Hungary permits emergency supervision of energy firms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  3. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  5. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers

Latest News

  1. Israel smeared Palestinian activists, EU admits
  2. MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship
  3. If Russia collapses — which states will break away?
  4. EU Parliament interpreters stage strike
  5. EU's post-Covid billions flowing into black hole
  6. Nato expands and reinforces on Russian flank
  7. EU Commission says it cannot find messages with Pfizer CEO
  8. EU ministers sign off on climate laws amid German infighting

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us