NATO Defense Ministers Restate Commitment to Open Door Policy

Defense Ministers of Allied states confirmed today that NATO’s door remains open during their meeting with Georgian and Ukrainian counterparts, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a press conference.

The Secretary General said the Allied member state officials addressed with Georgia’s Juansher Burchuladze and Ukraine’s Oleksii Reznikov the continued threat of Russian aggression, the deteriorating security situation in the Black Sea region and NATO support for both countries. 

Referring to Moscow’s demands that NATO rescinds its commitment that Georgia and Ukraine will eventually become members, Secretary Stoltenberg stressed “we cannot accept a return to an age of spheres of influence, where big powers bully, intimidate, or dictate to others.”

“Any decision on NATO membership is for NATO Allies and aspirant countries to take, nobody else,” he asserted going on to underscore that the right of each country to choose its own path is “absolutely fundamental” for European and transatlantic security and it shall be respected.

The official reiterated that while NATO remains open to engaging with Russia “in good faith,” there will be no decisions on Georgia and Ukraine without the two countries’ involvement. 

Besides, he highlighted that NATO Allies have restated their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries.

Following today’s session, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht highlighted that exchanging views with her Georgian and Ukrainian counterparts was important as the two countries share the values of NATO.

She also stressed that both Georgia and Ukraine are “threatened by Russian activities and we view this threat, this march, this deployment of troops with great concern.”

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