In meeting with North Atlantic Council, Allied legislators discuss unwavering support to Ukraine & NATO transformation ahead of the Vilnius Summit

20 February 2023

Only days away from the tragic one-year anniversary of the unprovoked, unjustifiable and brutal war of aggression that Russia has started against Ukraine, the Assembly’s leaders met with the North Atlantic Council (NAC) for their annual joint meeting. Discussions focused on how to further strengthen support for Ukraine and fully implement the historic outcomes of the 2022 NATO Summit, including the ground-breaking new Strategic Concept. Allied Heads of State and Government are due to meet again in Vilnius in July.

“Our Assembly has stood firmly by Ukraine from the first hour. We supported the imposition of crippling sanctions against Russia. We played our full part in ensuring that Ukraine receives all the military, humanitarian and financial assistance it needs,” underlined Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam (France), President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA), in her opening remarks.

“The war Vladimir Putin is waging is a war against the democratic ideal,” she stressed. “That is why, as an alliance of democracies, we must do everything in our power to ensure that Ukraine prevails.”

Addressing the decisions Allied leaders made at their 2022 Madrid Summit, she particularly welcomed the far-reaching adaptation initiated by the new Strategic Concept, including the renewed focus on collective defence in response to Russia’s war, the recognition of the systemic challenge posed by Russian and Chinese authoritarianism and the new emphasis on building resilience.

“Much has already been done to implement these new objectives,” she noted. “However, there is one priority that is particularly high on this Assembly’s agenda and which must also receive [the NAC’s] full attention: the commitment in the Strategic Concept to place our shared democratic values at the heart of NATO's response to the challenges and threats of today and tomorrow.” 

“It remains essential for us that the Strategic Concept does not remain a dead letter on this essential point.”

The Assembly has proposed the creation of a Centre for Democratic Resilience within NATO 
to serve as a resource and a hub for best practices and cross-fertilisation on democratic benchmarks available to member, partner and aspirant states, upon request. 

President Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam emphasised that Allies also needed to fully implement NATO’s new baseline for defence and deterrence, strengthen the resilience of Allied societies, critical infrastructure, supply chains and strategic industries as well as complete the ratification process for the accession of Finland and Sweden. 

Participants also discussed other topics high on NATO’s agenda ahead of the Vilnius Summit, including NATO’s 360-degree approach to security; broadening and deepening NATO partnerships; increasing defence spending to meet today’s threats and challenges; replenishing Allied stockpiles of armaments and munitions; the China challenge; NATO-EU cooperation; and the strategic environment in the High North.

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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