Allied legislators discuss Russia crisis, new Strategic Concept with North Atlantic Council

21 February 2022

As tensions with Russia remain high, the Assembly’s leaders met with the North Atlantic Council (NAC) to take stock of Russia’s massing of over 150,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders and in occupied Crimea and to discuss NATO’s response. Allied legislators, NATO Ambassadors and the NATO Secretary General also exchanged views on the priorities for the next Strategic Concept, which  Allied Heads of State and Government will adopt at their Summit in Madrid in June.  

“NATO has been at its best: united, resolute, standing firm on our values and principles”, Assembly President Gerald E. Connolly (United States) said when thanking the Secretary General and the NAC for their response to Russia’s aggressive actions and its attempts to undermine core principles of the rules-based international order and divide the Alliance. 

Earlier in the day, the Assembly’s Bureau adopted a statement supporting ongoing diplomatic efforts while reaffirming the NATO PA’s unwavering support for Ukraine and Allied parliaments’ commitment to support severe consequences should Russia choose to renew its aggression against Ukraine. 

“The current crisis holds important lessons which the next Strategic Concept must incorporate”, underlined Congressman Connolly, noting the need to adjust NATO’s long-term military posture and threat assessment. 

“At the same time, it is essential to also reaffirm those democratic values and core principles which Russia is seeking to undermine with its aggressive actions vis-à-vis Ukraine,” he added, stressing that this must include the establishment of a Democratic Resilience Centre at NATO Headquarters, a long-standing NATO PA recommendation, he underlined.

Tomorrow, the Assembly will adopt its recommendations for NATO’s next Strategic Concept at a special meeting of the Standing Committee – the NATO PA’s governing body. 

The meeting with the North Atlantic Council is part of the Assembly’s Joint Committee Meetings, which take place every February in Brussels. These annual meetings are key opportunities for Allied legislators to engage with NATO leaders, national officials and key experts. The meetings are not open to the public.  

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