NATO as an anchor of security – Foreign Minister Baerbock in Brussels

Outdoor view of the NATO headquarters in Brussels

Outdoor view of the NATO headquarters in Brussels, © Thomas Trutschel/photothek.de

04.04.2023 - Article

Today is “NATO Day” – the Alliance is celebrating its 74th anniversary. In addition, Finland will today become the 31st member of NATO. Read on for more information about the meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Brussels.

On the agenda at the meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs is Russia’s war against Ukraine as well as the continuation of support for Ukraine, preparations for the NATO Summit to be held in Vilnius on 11 and 12 July, and cooperation with NATO partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

At the beginning of the meeting, an accession ceremony will be held in front of the NATO headquarters in Brussels. The final ratifications were completed last week and Finland is now to join NATO. Sweden, too, is on its way to becoming a member. At this NATO meeting – as at past meetings – Sweden will be present as a guest. Nine months ago, on 5 July 2022, the NATO states signed the Protocols of Accession for Sweden and Finland.

NATO-Ukraine Commission discussions

At the beginning of their meeting, the NATO members will hold a discussion with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, within the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Commission. This forum for liaison between the Allies and Ukraine was launched in 1997. Today’s meeting of the Commission will be the first at ministerial level since March 2017, representing a particular show of support for Ukraine. The meeting will focus on the NATO states’ support for Ukraine in light of the Russian war of aggression.

Independently of NATO, too, Germany is providing Ukraine with political, humanitarian and financial support as well as military supplies. German assistance to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began now totals more than 14 billion euro. One important delivery arrived just a few days ago: 18 Leopard 2 A6 battle tanks were handed over to Ukraine. More information on military support can be found here.

Looking to the Asia-Pacific region

The Foreign Ministers will continue their talks on Wednesday, among other things to prepare for the NATO Summit of the Heads of State and Government on 11 and 12 July in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. One key issue is defence expenditure. The Wales Defence Investment Pledge will expire in 2024, and a successor agreement must now be found.

At a third working session, the Allies will then be joined by four partners from the Asia-Pacific area. The Foreign Ministers of Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand – known as the Asia-Pacific Four – will take part online or in person to discuss issues including the global repercussions of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Another topic will be the growing role of China and its presence in the Asia-Pacific region


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