NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met the group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, led by their President Iratxe García Pérez on Tuesday, 27 September.

Mr Stoltenberg stated that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had unleashed the biggest conflict in Europe since World War Two, and challenged fundamental rules and values. He strongly condemned Russia’s sham “referendums” organised in parts of Ukraine, as well as the partial mobilisation and nuclear sabre-rattling as escalations of the conflict.

The Secretary General said that NATO is not party to the conflict, even though Moscow is now trying to portray it as a war between Russia and NATO. In fact, the Secretary General made clear, “this is Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, and we are supporting Ukraine defend itself.” He stressed that the right to self-defence is enshrined in the UN Charter, and Europe and North America must hold the course, despite the energy crisis triggered by Russia.

Mr Stoltenberg said that NATO is monitoring the situation in the Baltic Sea closely, Allies are looking into the gas leaks from both Nord Stream pipelines, and also exchanging information with Finland and Sweden.

The discussion with the Socialists and Democrats group is part of the Secretary General’s regular engagements with EU lawmakers, in the framework of NATO’s strategic partnership with the EU.