NATO Secretary General lists Russia and China as security threats

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“The consequences of the rise of China” and a “more assertive Russia” with the aggressive actions against Ukraine continue to pose threat to security, Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with DW. Threats to global security have not disappeared during the COVID-19 pandemic, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an interview with Deutsche Welle on Tuesday, June 23. Among them, according to the head of the North Atlantic Alliance, are the threats associated with terrorism, “the consequences of the rise of China,” as well as “a more assertive Russia” with its “aggressive actions against Ukraine”. Stoltenberg emphasized the need to continue to provide funds to counter such challenges. It should be possible to deal with threats both in the field of security and in the field of health, and not choose between them, he noted. NATO Secretary General did not bypass the role of Germany in the alliance. Stoltenberg called the Federal Republic of Germany “a very strong and important ally,” having the largest defense budget in the European Union and the third largest in NATO. Berlin “is investing significantly more in defense,” he said. At the same time, Stoltenberg expects that all NATO members will fulfill their promises to invest no less than 2% of GDP to the alliance. Jens Stoltenberg criticized the intention of US President Donald Trump to reduce the number of American troops in Germany by 9,500 troops. The Secretary General of the Alliance said that he was discussing with the head of the White House the presence of US soldiers and officers in Europe. In this conversation, Stoltenberg emphasized that the presence of American troops in Europe is important not only for NATO, but also for Washington, because “peace and stability in Europe adds to the security of North America”. According to Stoltenberg, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper later assured that a final decision on this issue has not yet been made, and the United States will consult with allies in the alliance.