tv C-SPAN2 Weekend CSPAN May 11, 2013 7:00am-8:01am EDT
manner in kosovo in helping each other. so i think in daily life we manage to get along. secondly, we need close coordination when it comes to development of capabilities. and that leads me to answer the questions about smart defense and pooling and sharing that several of you mentioned. one of you mentioned smart defense pooling and be sharing -- and sharking. sharing. we have to insure that we do not purr see parallel -- purr see parallel programs, but actually complement each other and insure efficient use of taxpayers' money. no unproductive competition.
no duplication of work. and i could mention an excellent example of how we have embarked on what i would call a productive division of labor. at the chicago summit last year, european nato allies committed themselves to develop capacity within air-to-air refueling. overall, we have a lot of capacity within nato when it comes to air-to-air refueling, but we are dependent on capabilities. what we need is a european investment in that capability. so european allies made that commitment in chicago, and that's an excellent example of how we can divide labor. no reason for nato to embark on that. that's for the european defense agency. and certainly, we need more cooperation and consultation and coordination when it comes to
politics. and here we really have an absurd situation, an absurd situation. in formal meetings we are only allowed to discuss one issue, one issue; bosnia. because the e.u. conducts an operation in bosnia within the berlin -- [inaudible] framework as it's called. i won't go into all the detail. the bottom lewin is this is the -- line is this is the only issue we are allowed to discuss in formal meetings x. those meetings take place with e.u. at 26. that is, without civil participation. and for the same reason, the e.u., of course, a bit reluctant to have too many of those meetings with only 26 out of 27 members. now, if we suggest to discuss other issues of relevance, kosovo, for instance, then we can only do it in informal
meetings, and then in exchange the turks are reluctant to accept too many of those meetings. that's where we are. and that leads me to the conclusion that unless we find a solution to the cyprus problem, we will continue to have this absurd situation. so here's really an issue where we should move of forward. i have previously tabled some pragmatic proposals as to how we could move forward, but i have to realize that to find the final p -- final political solution, we need the parties in cyprus to find each other, and they should. they have huge economic challenge as. challenges. they have natural resources they could exploit once they reunify the island. and here i think the european union could play a role.
i think the european union has some leverage to facilitate a solution to that problem. now, i was with also asked about nato post-2014. are we really looking for new tasks? do we try to invent new activities just to insure that nato continues to be relevant? no way. there's no need to invent new things. our hands, we have a full plate. our hands are full. so fay toe post-2014 -- nato 2014 will be a nato that is prepared to take action if needed. and one way to do that is to make sure that the ability we have developed to work and operate together in afghanistan, that about will be maintained and further developed in the coming years. we call it the connected forces
initiative because it's about joint exercises, training, education so that what we learn inside afghanistan will be maintained even if we draw down in afghanistan. and believe me, there will be new tasks. we stand ready. we are prepared for the unexpected. if you had asked me when i took office as secretary general in august 2009 can you imagine in libya, i would not only probably, but definitely have answered, no. but nevertheless, it showed up as a task we had to handle, and this is my point. we need to stand ready for the unexpected. and that is nato post-2014. now, i was asked exactly the same question.
i was also asked a question about syria. and recent reports on an israeli strike in syria. i've, of course, seen the press reports. i've also noted that no such activity has taken place in areas where, of relevance for our deployment of patriot missiles in turkey. but, obviously, the situation in syria remains a matter of concern. we are concerned about disastrous humanitarian situation, we are concerned about the risk of pillover in region -- spillover in the region, we are concerned about the possible use of chemical weapons. so we urge the international community to find a political solution as soon as possible. that would take agreement among
the five permanent members of the u.n. security council. the only way forward is a political solution. but to that end, we need a strong and unified message from the international community. mr. glick asked me whether the so-called u.s. pivot to asia will weaken the transatlantic relationship. my brief answer is that will very much depend on us, the europeans. i think it's in our interest that the u.s. rebalance its interests and focus a bit more on the craze-pacific region -- asia-pacific region taking into account the rising powers in that region. but if we are to insure that the americans still find europe relevant as a partner, the europeans must also invest in that transatlantic relationship
politically, economically and militarily. that's my point. i was asked pretty much the same question, would this u.s. pivot to asia downgrade nato? no, not in itself. but, of course, if the europeans don't invest in the transatlantic relationship, it may, it may weaken that bond. but actually we have seen a strong u.s. commitment to european security. for instance, the u.s. contribution to a nato missile defense system. that's a u.s. commitment to addressing emerging security challenges, the new threats. so instead of having a lot of
stationary forces in -- [inaudible] many europe, the u.s. is now engaged in a way that actually addresses the threats of our time. in that respect you also asked me about obsolete infrastructure. do we have any research that indicates how much money is wasted on obsolete infrastructure and old-fashioned structures in general. i'm not aware of such research. but we are very much focused on reforming our military forces in the direction of more deployability. so less static structures, no mobility, more ability to deploy where it's actually necessary.
that's actually the essence of ongoing reform efforts and transformation efforts within nato. i was asked quite directly would you as nato recommend the european union to develop a european defense policy. as isaf general of nato, i'm not going to interfere with e.u. policies. but i think you have heard my words today. i do believe that we need a strengthened european defense. and i don't see any contradiction between a strong nato and a strong european defense cooperation. on the contrary. that would strengthen the european pillar within nato.
so if a strengthened european defense policy is about investment in capabilities and not -- now i speak very openly and frankly -- and not new processes, new institutions, then it could contribute in a valuable way to strengthening our overall security. but otherwise it will just be hot air, as i said. so in that respect i'm in favor of it, but i don't interfere with it. and just to conclude on that point, very often we're discussing should -- i know in some political groups you're also discussing whether we should actually have a common european defense. now, to speak, i mean, realistically i don't think we will see it in my lifetime. because when it comes to -- and i intend to live for a long
time -- [laughter] i say this because as secretary general of nato i have learned how much individual nations protect their integrity and their national sovereign by went -- sovereignty when it comes to defense and security policy. that's really untouchable. so i don't think that will materialize. but i do believe that in the coming years we will see nations cooperate much, much more across borders because they need it. they need it. so you will see multilateral projects, call it smart defense or pooling and sharing or whatever, but the bottom line will be that nations are not able to acquire advanced expensive military equipment on their own. even the bigger european nations will need to cooperate.
so in that respect, i think we will see much more collective, collective defense efforts in europe in the coming years. now, andrew duff asked me whether it would be a good idea to invite prime minister -- [inaudible] to participate in european council in december. i would refrain from interfering with european decisions on who they want to invite to participate in european council peatings. and -- meetings. and finally on piracy, it's a success story. it's a success story. and the lesson learned is that through a close international coordination, the e.u., nato and individual players, we can actually achieve a lot. and i won't exclude the possibility that based on these lessons learned it would be
worthwhile deploying maritime assets in other parts of the world to, in an international effort, to insure free and open sea lanes. because piracy seemed to be able to emerge also in other parts of the world. thank you. >> thank you so much. i would like to offer the floor to someone who wants to comment on your remarks about the good relationship with nato and the e.u.. mr. van arn has the floor. [laughter] >> thank you very much. chairman, i'm delight today see you here, secretary general. it's always a great pleasure to have a whiff of reality in this institution. [laughter] could i say, first of all, i mean, you made a remark just now
about nato has no need to invent things after 2014. well, of course, the european union wants to invent things all the time. it scours the world looking for a role, trying to find opportunities to put its flag down in order to justify european defense policy. and it seems to me that the question we have to ask is how should we strengthen the capacity of the democracies, how should we strengthen their ability to act in this dangerous world. not how should we try to find and justify a role for the european union. and the fact is, secretary general, i mean, you're in a very difficult position. you're a sort of diplomat, come bit of politician. you know, you're mainly a diplomat. you have to speak in a way that's not going to offend any of your 28 member states.
you -- the fact is that in this particular place we're having a different conversation. it's not about strengthening defense capabilities, it's about finding a role for the european union to act. and, i mean, don't you think that in this time of scarce defense resources it would make far more sense rather than have the european union creating parallel structures and institutions if it was to concentrate on the european effort within nato? because that's really where realistically it's going to happen. and, of course, all this duplication of effort is compounded by the fact that we end up with, basically, the same member states talking to one another in this same city. my concern, i suppose, in the way that things are going at the moment is, first of all, we don't have a very truthful conversation. because the conversation here is
all about roles for the european union whereas i think in reality what you'd like to say is, please, stop playing politics, stop building new institutions and structures and things, create more capability. that's what we need. and you're not going to do it through the european union, because their objective is something entirely different. but aren't you worried about an eventual bifurcation of the alliance that we would end up with a binary alliance that on the one hand we have the european union, and on the other hand we have the north americans? and i know that there are people here that would see that, the transat atlanta cysts would like to see that. that is the objective that they have in mind, and it strikes me that that's a very dangerous direction to to in. so -- to go in. so i'd be very interest inside your view on that potential.
but, secretary general, really what i would ask you to do is encourage the european countries to put their effort into the alliance and to stop all this duplication and stop dressing it up as if somehow rather they're adding capability when exactly they're. no -- they're not. >> i have seen mr. rasmussen in many situations as danish prime minister and outspoken president of the european council. but i've never seen him as a diplomat. [laughter] ms. colbeck. >> thank you. and thank you for giving me this opportunity to have a dialogue with nato. i'd like to focus on russia and the missile defense. you remember in lisbon there was this great friendship between russia and nato, and one would work together on missile defense. and since then there has been a lot of problems in missile
defense. i would like to hear your assessment now that the americans have at least postponed, maybe canceled phase four of the missile defense. does it open up new possibilities to work with russia on the missile defense, and what is the situation in the nato/russia councilsome i would also like to send additional question. i saw that you -- i am the chair of the european parliament's randall gaition, and i saw that you mention inside some news that maybe nato should have a role in iran also. are there any plans on, and what would you say would be nato's role many this case? thank you. >> speak speak tongue. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: first of all, may i say that mr. rasmussen is
instantly -- constantly appealing to france and -- [inaudible] not as a matter of principles. what's going on now is that new systems are being used, new military technologies such as drones which actually kill people. a lot of people died in afghanistan. clearly, you're finding support for this. and then we all understand what you mean when you talk about strengthening the european element of nato. it's quite simple for anyone who looks at the state of the facts.
nato wants to be able to decide which crisis it will intervene in, and anywhere where it doesn't see fit to take action, well, leave it to the europeans. we have evidence of that. i would pick up what you said about supplying planes in flight. now, with talk of cooperation, but there's no cooperation because of clashes of interests amongst nato imperialist powers that obviously the united states will use its leverage in nato. there's nothing can change in nato unless washington gives the nod. you need only look at the founding charter of nato. and it's also clear that when the united states applies the brakes or if one of the memberst
france -- then the united states will say, oh, well, we don't want to intervene, let the europeans do it. it happened in mali. then there's a reference made to taxpayers' funds, workers and so on. well, 20 years following the war in yugoslavia, kosovo is still occupied. when the occupation of kosovo going to come to an end? yes, i will wind up, chairman. let me repeat this point. what about afghanistan? when is all that going to come to an end? we all read about the cia, who's funding it and why. so please be a bit more sincere and explain the very tangible interests in influencing nato in europe. thank you. >> would like to proposal that maximum speaking time is now two minutes so everyone has a chance
to take the floor who wants to do so. mr.-- [inaudible] >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: you were very brief, very concise, i'll try to do the same. three specific questions. firstly, colleagues have already touched on this, pooling and sharing and a smart defense. we heard from a general on the security and defense committee that 300 million euro could be saved by pooling and sharing whereas the cuts being paid by member states are 30 billion euro. in other words, a hundred times more. so is anything being done by nato to try to stop these member states' cuts? and now on missile defense.
there are enthusiasts and there are skeptics. regardless of what the politicians say, how do you intend to persuade the people of europe that the missile defense is in the interests of the people of europe rather than just in the interest of the united states? be and now on georgia, i'd like to thank you for your words of hope regarding georgia. the political parties and people in georgia are very much in favor of nato membership. but what are you going to do? how are you going to persuade major european governments to drop their resistance to georgian and nato accession? thank you. >> [inaudible] >> [speaking in native tongue]
>> translator: thank you. thank you, secretary general. there are a lot of unpredictable factors which will be a bearing on our security. we need to reduce the number of factors in relation to what we have today. there are too many such factors at present. so that leads me into my question. do you believe that some scope for better coordination between nato and the european union might be, for example, anticipating, bringing forward the processes both the kind of
processes we have expect canned those that have been -- expected and those that have been harder to foresee? in unexpected events we've seen that nato has not been terribly successful, or to be blunter about it, it's actually failed. i believe we need to strengthen our cooperation not just by expanding our logistic capacity, but also our ability to apply some thought to ore motions. our motions. another issue, what's happening with macedonia and its position in nato? you'll be well aware why i'm raising this. i'm talking about the ruling from the international court. clearly, this is a region, a country where the image of nato is still extreme lu significant. thank you. >> thank you. very much.
first, van orden. let me tell you, i'm not an institutionalist. i don't care who exactly does what. what i'm caring about, that it's done. and we have identified critical shortfalls when it comes to military capabilities. we have learned lessons from our operations, notably in afghanistan and libya, by the way. we learned a lot of lessons. and based on that we have identified critical shortfalls. and my focal point is to fill those gaps. whether that's within a nato framework or an e.u. framework, i don't care. but 21 nations are members of both organizations. and, obviously, we owe it to our taxpayers to make sure that the work we do is done efficiently.
we have one set of taxpayers. we have one set of military capabilities. we need more investment in transport capability. we have a lot of soldiers in europe, but we can't move them. to speak briefly about it. we need air-to-air refueling. we learned that from the libya operation. we need a better capacity when it comes to sur saul lance -- surveillance, reconnaissance. and to speak in very concrete terms about that, that is to invest in drones that can be used together, such information and guide, guide our military and political decisions. these are critical shortfalls.
and as i mentioned, at the nato summit in chicago last year, european/nato allies committed themselves to invest in air-to-air capacity. if they want to do that through the european defense agency, why not? i don't care about institutions. i care about the work to be done. now, this is why i do agree that the most important thing the decide at the european could be is sill meeting many he's -- council meeting in december would be to invest a sufficient amount of money in critically-needed military capacities. that would be the most important decision to take at all.
now, mrs. cronberg asked me whether nato envisages a role in iran. no. and i've never, never made such a statement. on the contrary, i've said that nato as an alliance is not end gaminged in the -- engaged in the iran question. we support international efforts to find a political and diplomatic solution. now, on missile defense you asked me when the change -- whether the change of the so-called phased adaptive approach could also facilitate closer cooperation with rush that on missile defense. and that's an important question. my answer would be, yes, i think it should. because the russian concerns so far have primarily been related
to the fourth phase. and now phase four has actually been aboll you shoulded. abolished. so if there is a political will in moscow to actually cooperate, i think that could pave the way for an agreement as to how nato and russia could cooperate on missile defense. let me stress, having aid -- having said that, the fact that phase four, the fourth and final phase has been abolished does not change that the whole of the population in european nato nations will be covered by the nato missile defense system. because the first three phases
will be implemented as planned, and that will cover all populations in european nato nations. the gentleman from greece asked me when will the occupation of kosovo come to an end. well, the interesting thing is that, um, people in the region don't consider it an occupation. on the contrary, recently when when -- [inaudible] ashton concluded the agreement between belgrade and -- [inaudible] both parties requested nato to stay and guarantee peace and stability and help implementing the agreement. so, i mean, that's not occupation. and, of course, i'm pleased to
see that nato considered such an impartial guarantor of peace and stability. and, of course, we will stay as long as necessary to implement the u.n. mandate. we operate on the basis of u.n. mandate. we have an obligation to implement the u.n. mandate to insure free movement. [inaudible conversations] [laughter] you asked me about afghanistan. there's a clear road map. by the end of 2014, the isaf mission will come to an end. that will complete our combat mission. but we will stay after 2014 with a noncombat mission, a training mission to help the afghan security forces. mr. lisyk asked me whether we do anything to stop cuts in defense budgets.
of as you know, the it's a national decision. nato as an alliance can't interfere with that. that's a national decision. we have a benchmark according to which nato allies have stated that those allies that spent more than 2%, 2% or more on defense, commit themselves to stay above the 2 percent. while those allies below 2% will try to work towards the 2% benchmark. it's not a legal requirement, it's a political obligation. and whenever i visit capitals -- and soon i will visit warsaw -- i will repeat that message. and, actually, i can tell you that i have had political, a political dialogue with
government, but also with parliamentarians in some capitals. and i, i have seen a positive response. i can mention one country in which the main political parties have reached broad political agreement according to which they will now move gradually towards 2%. so that's why, actually, for a nato secretary general it's also important to engage directly with parliamentarians. because this is very much about budgets, defense budgets and financial, fiscal policy in general, of course. now, you also asked me, mr. lisyk, about missile defense. how can we convince people that it's also in europeans' interest. it's quite clear that we are faced with a real missile threat. more than 30 countries in the
world have missile technologies or are acquiring such misis sill technologies. -- missile technologies. some with a range so that they can hit targets in europe. so it is clearly in europe's interest to develop an effective protection against that real missile threat. finally on georgia, the decision we took in bucharest in 2008 at the nato summit still stands. we stated georgia will become a member of fay toe. of course -- nato. of course, provided they fulfill the necessary criteria. we have established a special nato/georgia commission, and within that commission we work with georgia to move forward so that georgia continues her reform process with the aim to one day in the future be able to join the alliance. we're not there yet.
we -- there is a lot of work ahead, but i am pleased that the new government in georgia has reaffirmed its nato aspirations. so it's very much for georgia to demonstrate that georgia fulfills the necessary criteria. finally, mr. vogyl asked me about future enlargements. we have engaged actively with -- [inaudible] as you know, we have made a decision also in 2008 in bucharest that we are ready to start accession negotiations as soon as a mutually-satisfactory answer to the main issue has been found. they foe that. so i think -- they know that. so i think from a nato perspective we have done all we can. we are ready to start accession
negotiations immediately when a solution to the name issue has been found. so i encourage all parties involved to do their utmost to find a solution to that name issue. to my mind, it's not impossible. it's within reach if there is good political will. thank you. >> thank you very much. i had originally four name on my list -- three names for the last round, now we have six. if everyone keeps his part for one minute, perhaps we can make it. veronique, you're the first one to try that. spend be. [speaking french] >> translator: thank you,
chairman. i've just one question for you, mr. rasmussen. were you in nato conversant with the bombings carried out by israel on damascus? did you coordinate that operation? the reason i'm putting this question to you is that on the 7th of march, 2013, nato signed a partnership and cooperation agreement with israel, a bilateral agreement, and there were headlines in the press at the time to the fact that israel was becoming a member of nato. the idea was to strengthen the process of military planning between israel for the purposes of any future alaskas in the middle east. -- actions in the middle east. that was just two months before, and it's hard to believe that there's been no coordination. if so, how do you analyze their actions? thanou.
>> [inaudible] >> thank you, president, mr. secretary general. you've talked about the immediate for leadership in a changing world, the need for capacity, of course, without which political leadership is quite empty. i wanted to ask you about the capacity in the so-called cyber domain or in relation to technology and defense. in the united states, it's been established that offensive capacity is legitimized and is necessary. i've read with great interest the tall loan manual. could you tell me what nato is planning in relation to cybersecurity, and how will you secure that freedom and security also in relation to technology do not become a zero sum game? the last question related to syria where i think hard power is, unfortunately, now one of the few options, i've followed the dossier closely for the past years, and on a number of occasions even without being
prompted you mentioned that i that toe would not get -- that nay know would not get involved in syria. i simply wanted to ask you why. >> mr. orzek. >> thank you, chairman. i just came back, i just came back from the balkans, ask and talking about balkans we still have some unfinished business there as far as the nato enlargement is concerned. macedonia was mentioned, but what about countries such as montenegro? or how do you see boss nia herzegovina, how do you see the prospects of serbia? can we expect next nato summit will be enlargement summit? thank you. >> mr.-- [inaudible] >> thank you, chair, secretary general. three questions. what should nato, in your opinion, do to promote nuclear
disarmament? second, there's an arms race, an incipient arms race going on in east asia, and we are feeding into that with our arms exports. what's your opinion on that? shouldn't we be more cautious in our policy regarding arms export to that region? and, third, beyond missile defense what is, according to your opinion, the top of the agenda that we should pursue as europeans and particularly u.s./nato with regard to security cooperation with russia? and in this context i'm sure you've seen the report by four elder statesmen, you know the
names, on building mutual security in the europe atlantic region. what's your opinion on that? thank you. >> thank you. mr.-- [inaudible] >> yes. as you know, last year there was this well known -- [inaudible] terrorist activity on a large scale on a european territory. and following that, of course, following a lot of coordinated investigations and so on, they still an impasse. the united states and israel believe that it is hezbollah, and they even press the allies to deal with hezbollah in an official mapper. on the other hand -- manner. on the other hand, they still have some controversy here. of course, this is not the core of your activities, but this must have been discussed. i see connection, of course, with hezbollah and the last strike. is it possibly related with the fact that if something serious
has to be undertaken in the future -- i hope not regarding iran -- hezbollah probably has to be dealt with before? >> [inaudible] [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: thank you. well, a number of countries felt affected by mali. what about nato? you'll be aware, secretary general, that a number of russian planes came close to the swedish frontier. might that have happened had we been a member of nato? [inaudible]
>> um, thank you very much. first, mr. kaiser asked me whether nato and israel had or are coordinated -- or have coordinated strikes. no. definitely not. we have a partnership with israel, yes. we have a partnership called the mediterranean dialogue which actually counts not only israel, but suck other countries -- but six other countries in north africa and the middle east. and we have a developed individual cooperation program with each of these countries.
but we, we haven't coordinated in strike. cybersecurity, that's absolutely one of the new security challenges on which we need to focus much, much more in the coming years. we're in the process in nato of strengthening cyber, our cyber defense. first step has been to strengthen the defense of our own nato networks. and we need that pause on a regular -- because on a regular basis we are attack ad which shouldn't be a surprise. so far we have been very successful in defending our systems. so that's the first step.
next, of course, we will also have to consider whether and if so how we can develop a capacity that can come to the help of individual allies that are subject to attacks. some allies may have the capacity to defend themselves against such cyber attacks. other allies would appreciate to have a nato capability, a kind of a rapid reaction team that can assist upon request if needed. so these are some of the elements in the work that is, that has been prepared. and, obviously, cybersecurity is also an issue on which we need
strong cooperation with partners, partners across the globe. because cybersecurity is a cross-border issue and should be dealt with in, also in partnerships with like-minded countries. now, you asked me about syria. why is it that nato doesn't have any intention to intervene militarily in syria? and, actually, very often i get that question because people refer to the very successful nato operation in libya, and then they ask me why couldn't you do the same in syria? but i have to say there is a very clear difference between libya and syria. in libya we operated on the basis of a clear united nations mandate to protect the civilian
population against attack. and we got active support from countries in the region. none of these conditions are fulfilled in syria. syria is a much more complex society, and i do believe that an external military intervention might have unpredictable regional repercussions. this is the reason why i do believe that the right way forward is a political solution. having said that, i fully share your frustration. it's absolutely outrageous what we're witnessing in syria. and this is the reason why it is, indeed, a matter of urgency that the international community sends a strong and unified message to the regime in
damascus. so far the u.n. security council has failed to reach a consensus. i strongly regret that. the more because i do believe that we have a political framework that could be used. as you will recall, in june 2012 the so-called action group on syria issued a statement, a declaration signed by all five permanent members of the u.n. security council. in that statement it's clearly stated that the regime in da miss cuts -- damascus should initiate a process be, -- a process leading to the aspirations of the syrian people. i do believe that a political
solution could be based on that declaration. but to that end, of course, we need a u.n. security council resolution. now, i was asked about the perspectives for the balkans. montenegro has made substantial progress. this is the reason why we have granted what we call a membership action plan to montenegro. they do not fulfill the necessary criteria at this stage, but i'm quite impressed by the work done and the progress achieved in montenegro. bosnia herzegovina, there's a political stalemate. a couple of years ago we granted what i would call a condition-based membership action plan to bosnia
herzegovina. we have declared that we are willing to activate that membership action plan as soon as the bosnians carry through certain reforms, modest reforms, actually, related to defense property. i went to bosnia in february this year. i had meeting with the political leaders. they promised me to implement a political agreement they reached last year. but so far we have not seen any progress. it's really regrettable. but we stand ready to move forward as soon as they do their homework. and i have already answered as far as -- [inaudible] is concerned. and i don't believe the recent political reason will also that is sill tate progress -- facilitate progress as regard western balkan integration in the euro-atlantic structures. so it's very much up to the countries in the region to do
their homework. then we stand ready. in brief. we are ready when they are ready. so whether the next summit will be an enlargement summit, i mean, first point, we have not made any decision when we will have the next summit. secondly, to become a member of nato, you need to fulfill certain criteria. so it's for the applicant countries to do their homework. um, on nuclear disarmament, i mean, we have adopted a strategic concept. in that strategic concept, nato's strategic concept, in that strategic concept we reaffirm what most nations in the world subscribe to in already in 1970 to work towards a world without nuclear weapons.
we share that grand vision. however, we are not naive. so we also stated that as long as nuclear weapons exist, nato will remain a nuclear alliance. but having said that, we would be pleased to see a reduction in the stockpiles of tactical nuclear weapons in a balanced way. and here i have to tell you that nato allies have reduced the number of nuclear weapons substantially since the end of the cold war. the same is not the case when we are speaking about russia. so that's why i have to stress that, yes, we are, indeed, in favor of reducing the number of nuclear weapons, but in a balanced way. and on euro-atlantic security, i
have read the report from the group with great interest, and definitely we need a positive engagement with russia. that's also why we have invited rush that to cooperate on missile -- rush that to cooperate on missile defense. we have moved forward with russia on a lot of practical cooperation areas. but cooperation on missile defense would be a real game changer. so far our invitation has not been positively received in moscow, which i regret. but we continue our, we continue our dialogue. now, i was asked whether this incident would have taken place if sweden had been a member of nato.
i don't know. i don't know. and i'm not going to interfere with the domestic swedish debate on nato. i have followed it with great interest, but i have to reiterate what i have also clearly stated on swedish soil, that there is a clear difference between being a member and not being a member. to be covered by article v, you have to be a member of nato. but we appreciate the very close and very positive partnership we have with sweden. [inaudible conversations]
[speaking in native tongue] >> >> translator: thank you very much, secretary general. prison -- [applause] >> translator: thank you, secretary general, for your remarks and explanations. >> the next speaker is here. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: i'd like to thank the secretary general for attending, and i think that between now and the e.u. summit there will be and should be discussion between the e.u. and nato given the synergy effects which can only be achieved through european cooperation. but also for reasons of the clear lines of complimentary cooperation between nato and the european union. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: perhaps all of
you at the back could remain seated physical we've closed this item. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: and we'll see that this is all the more necessary given the possible changes in u.s. policy. i don't know with what u.s. middle eastern policy is going to be. if the usa becomes self-sufficient in energy, that will change the balance of interests between the u.s. and europe and, therefore, also between nato and the european union. it's very important for the two communities in this city to continue to cooperate. i'm very grateful to you for the opportunity to debate today. but sometimes in this nato/e.u. discussion we have to recall
that in foreign policy the e.u. plays a phenomenal role in terms of its nonmilitary assistance. nonmilitary preventive assistance is provided for, to a large proportion by the european union. 60% of foreign aid comes from the european union. so when we talk about burden sharing, if we want to talk about being fair, we have to take those numbers into account. i do hope that this cooperation will flourish, and i do hope the europeans will take their mill be tear respondents -- military responsibilities more seriously. thank you very much for your explanations and remarks which will help us to continue with our work ahead of the summit. thank you again for coming to join us.