NATO PA opens session focused on support for Ukraine, strengthening Alliance defence and deterrence

19 May 2023

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly opened its Spring Session Friday with a pledge to maintain support for Ukraine and an appeal for the Alliance to strengthen its defence and deterrence posture in the face of threats from Russia and other wide-ranging security challenges.  

“It is our common security, our values and the rules-based international order that Ukraine is defending through its courageous resistance to Russian aggression,” Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, NATO PA President, told a news conference as the session got underway in Luxembourg.

The four-day session is scheduled to culminate Monday with the adoption of a declaration by lawmakers from the 31 NATO nations reaffirming unwavering support for Ukraine and urging Allied governments to step up military supplies.

Garriaud-Maylam underscored the Assembly’s call for Russia to face justice for war crimes and backed a Marshall Plan-style reconstruction programme for Ukraine. “We continue to support the integration of Ukraine into NATO,” she added.

In a second declaration, the Assembly is expected to recommend a series of measures to be adopted at the Alliance’s upcoming summit in Vilnius, Lithuania in July. The resolution calls for NATO leaders to strengthen the Alliance militarily, defend democratic values, and focus on strengthening Allied resilience.

Garriaud-Maylam said the summit should reinforce NATO’s defence and deterrence posture, notably on the eastern flank to “respond to the Russian threat and face up to all challenges to our security.”

“Our session in Luxembourg will also be the occasion to reiterate our appeal to Allied heads of state and government to translate NATO’s commitment to defend its values into concrete action,” the French Senator stated, including through the creation of a centre for democratic resilience at Alliance headquarters.

The head of Luxembourg’s delegation at the NATO PA, Lydia Mutsch, expressed the host country’s support both for steadfast backing for Ukraine and the strengthening of NATO’s democratic resilience. 

“The Alliance has never been more united, and we remain determined to support Ukraine until peace is re-established and beyond,” Mutsch told the news conference.

The Luxembourg session is scheduled to debate 17 preliminary draft reports covering topics ranging from the future of robotics and novel materials in defence to global food security, Russia’s disinformation campaigns to China’s international role.

Speakers due to address the session include Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Oleksandra Matviichuk, director of Ukraine’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning Centre for Civil Liberties. 

The final plenary sitting on Monday will be addressed by Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana and Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

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