The NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s (NATO PA) Standing Committee, the Assembly’s governing body, held its annual spring meeting in Oslo, Norway on 26 March.
Hosted by the Norwegian delegation, led by Trond Helleland, the meeting brought together over 40 lawmakers from the 30-nation transatlantic Alliance, as well as NATO invitee Sweden. Parliamentarians reaffirmed the Assembly’s unwavering support for Ukraine in dialogue with their Ukrainian counterparts and had a first discussion on recommendations for accelerating NATO’s adaptation.
Connected from Ukraine, Ruslan Stefanchuk, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, and Yehor Cherniev, Head of the Ukrainian Delegation to the NATO PA, both updated the Standing Committee about the latest developments and outlined the country’s needs for increased assistance.
“Our parliaments and this Assembly continue to play their part in mobilising support. We will not relent in our efforts,” NATO PA President Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam (France) underlined. “We remain united and resolute in standing with Ukraine for as long as it takes to prevail.” The Standing Committee discussed further assistance and support to Ukraine.
“The war in Ukraine is a watershed moment for our continent. And one year into the war, we see profound implications for my country, for Europe and the world,” Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre told the Standing Committee.
The members had a first discussion to develop the Assembly’s recommendations for the Summit of Heads of State and Government which will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania on 11-12 July. The Assembly’s final input will be agreed during its spring session in Luxembourg at the end of May.
Following President Putin’s announcement the previous day that he has sent dual-capable Iskander missile systems and plans to station tactical nuclear weapons into Belarus, members denounced Russia’s ongoing, irresponsible nuclear sabre-rattling.
During their one-day meeting, the Assembly’s leaders also reviewed recent development on the accession of Sweden and Finland, discussed developments in Tunisia, considered the Review of the Assembly’s Consideration of Gender in 2022, published earlier today, and discussed other statutory matters.
The NATO PA serves as the consultative interparliamentary organisation for the North Atlantic Alliance. It is institutionally separate and independent from NATO.
The Standing Committee is the Assembly’s governing body, composed of the Head of each member delegation, the President, the Vice-Presidents, the Treasurer and the Chairpersons of the Assembly's Committees and of the Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group.
Photos of the meeting can be viewed here.
© Peter Mydske, Stortinget