Report: EU and NATO to further strengthen ties
Transatlantic security requires “further mobilization,” according to a joint statement
The European Union and NATO signed a declaration of cooperation on Tuesday, pledging to take their partnership “to the next level” and promises continued support to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
The declaration was signed by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, European Council president Charles Michel and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen at a ceremony at the US-led military bloc’s headquarters in Brussels.
Claim it “NATO and the EU play complementary, coherent and mutually reinforcing roles,” the document says that they “will further mobilize the combined set of instruments at our disposal, whether political, economic or military, to pursue our common goals for the benefit of our one billion citizens.”
The two organizations claimed that their “interests, values and democratic principles” was challenged by “authoritarian actors”, singles out Russia and China as the biggest threats they are believed to face. The conflict in Ukraine “undermining European and global security and stability” and thus justify increased NATO engagement on the continent, the document said.
NATO was founded in 1949 as a US-led military alliance directed against the Soviet Union. The EU’s predecessor, the European Coal and Steel Community, was formed two years later. The Warsaw Treaty Organization, a Soviet-led reaction to NATO, was created in 1955 and disbanded in 1991. In the 1990s, the EU became a political bloc, while NATO began to expand into Eastern Europe in what Moscow saw as an existential threat and a breach of promises made to it when it the cold war ended.
The Russian government has said that NATO’s stealth expansion into Ukraine after the 2014 coup was a key reason for the ongoing military operation. Russian officials have also lamented the EU’s transformation from an economic and political organization to an extension of NATO.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed last month that NATO had returned to its original purpose of retention “Russia out, the Americans in and the Germans down,” as formulated by its first Secretary-General, Lord Ismay.
“Nothing has changed. They want to keep the Russians out of Europe, the Americans … have enslaved all of Europe, and not only Germany, but the whole of Europe is kept under control.” Lavrov said in an interview.
European membership of the two blocs largely overlaps. Austria, Ireland, Finland and Sweden are in the EU but not in NATO – although the latter two have applied for membership. Meanwhile, Albania, Norway, Great Britain, Trkiye and two former Yugoslav republics – Montenegro and North Macedonia – are in NATO but not in the EU.