In a keynote speech at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday (19 February 2022), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed the importance of a strong transatlantic relationship for European security.
Noting the real risk of conflict, the Secretary General called on Russia to change course, to step back from the brink, stop preparing for war and start working for a peaceful solution. He underlined that the current crisis is about the future of Ukraine, but also about global security. “Freedom and democracy are contested and strategic competition is on the rise,” he said, stressing that “this is a new normal and we must be prepared.”
The Secretary General said that as Moscow attempts to roll back history and recreate its sphere of influence, NATO Allies will stand as one and do what is necessary to protect and defend each other. “Standing together in NATO, Europe and America will continue to keep the peace and protect our democratic way of life,” he said.
Mr. Stoltenberg was awarded the Munich Security Conference’s Ewald von Kleist award for his achievements as Secretary General of NATO. The Secretary General received the award with laudatory remarks by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.