“NATO is critically important for U.S. interests in and of itself,” President Biden says at the NATO Summit in Brussels. 

On Monday, President Biden attended the NATO Summit in Brussels, along with 29 other world leaders of Allied nations. 

Before the meeting, Biden met with Secretary General Stoltenberg and praised him for his “incredible leadership” and added, “I wish you were not leaving.”

Stoltenberg thanked Biden for his “Strong personal commitment and powerful leadership on the transatlantic bond on what to do together.”

“We meet at a pivotal time for our Alliance.  We will open a new chapter in our transatlantic relationship with the meeting today; address a wide range of issues, including Russia,” said Stoltenberg. 

Stoltenberg expressed that “Strong NATO is good for Europe, but is also good for America.” Biden responded, “It’s very good for America. It’s essential for America.”  

Biden said there is “A growing recognition over the last couple years that we have new challenges. We have Russia, which is acting in a way that is not consistent with what we had hoped, and we have China.”

President Biden made clear that NATO is “Critically important for U.S. interests in and of itself.”

He added that he “Constantly remind Americans that when America was attacked for the first time on its shores since what happened back at the beginning of World War Two, NATO stepped up. NATO stepped up, and they honored Article 5.”

The President affirmed he wants Europe to know that “the United States is there.”

Later, all 30 leaders took a “family photo” in a central atrium area of the main NATO headquarters building. The leaders faced a three-story cube of angled video screens with the summit logo positioned behind where the leaders were standing. 

Secretary-General Stoltenberg greeted the leaders individually as they walked across a blue stage, bumped fists or bowed, and posed for photos together. President Biden, seemingly running late, was seen grinning as he entered and walked across the stage. 

President Biden was positioned in the center of the front row. Stoltenberg stood just over his right shoulder. Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to his left, and Romanian President Klaus Lohannis to his right.

At the opening of the main session, President Biden entered the room and fist-bumped Romanian President Klaus Lohannis in a brief greeting. He later spoke with PM Boris Johnson and NATO Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Goeana.

President Biden also spoke with Turkey’s Erdogan before Jens Stoltenberg came over, and the two of them then took their seats. Biden sat between PM Johnson and Stoltenberg.

France’s Emmanuel Macron then came over and leaned in to speak with Biden. Stoltenberg then started the session, and Macron walked around to his seat.

Stoltenberg stated, “No nation and no continent can deal with these challenges alone, but Europe and North America are not alone. We stand together with NATO.”

He went on to say, “Today, we will welcome a new chapter in transatlantic relations by agreeing to NATO 2030.”

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stated, “It is my great honor and distinct pleasure to welcome you to Brussels.”

“We gather here today to reconfirm our commitment to transatlantic solidarity,” said De Croo. 

Prime Minister De Croo welcomed Biden, saying, “His presence emphasizes the renewal of the transatlantic partnership.”

During the Summit, the President reaffirmed the enduring Transatlantic bond through NATO and underscored the United States’ ironclad commitment to Article 5 – an attack on one is an attack on all and will be met with a collective response.  Allied leaders launched an ambitious set of initiatives to ensure NATO continues to provide security to citizens through 2030 and beyond.  

NATO Family photo

The major Summit outcomes

A New Strategic Concept:  Allies agreed to revise NATO’s Strategic Concept, a framework that will guide the Alliance’s approach to the evolving strategic environment, which includes Russia’s aggressive policies and actions; challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China to our collective security, prosperity, and values; and transnational threats such as terrorism, cyber threats, and climate change.  

Updating Cyber Defenses: Leaders endorsed a new Cyber Defense Policy for NATO that will strengthen Allied coordination to ensure the Alliance is resilient against the increasingly frequent and severe threats we face from malicious cyber activity perpetrated by state and non-state actors, including disruptive ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure. Leaders also affirmed the importance of defending our networks and ensuring Allies rely on trustworthy providers for next-generation telecommunication networks. 

Preserving our Technological Edge:  Allies launched a Defense Innovation Accelerator to facilitate their technological cooperation and speed up emerging technologies that will enhance the Alliance’s defense and security.  

Combatting Climate Change: The leaders agreed to reduce greenhouse gases from military activities and installations in line with national commitments under the Paris Agreement and agree to initiate a regular high-level global climate and security dialogue.

Strengthened Deterrence and Defense:  Allies committed to the implementation of new military concepts and strategies that strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense posture to meet threats from Russia and elsewhere.  NATO also continues to monitor the Russian deployments in and around Ukraine.

Greater Sharing of Responsibility:  Allied leaders recommitted to the Wales Pledge in its entirety and to providing NATO with cash, capabilities, and contributions of ready forces.

Investing in NATO:  Allies committed to ensuring NATO is led, staffed, and resourced at levels necessary to deliver on the decisions taken at the Summit.  Leaders will agree to identify the additional resources, including through NATO common funding, to enhance NATO’s ability to meet security challenges today and in the future.

Increased Consultation and Cohesion:  Allies committed to enhancing political coordination at NATO on all matters related to their individual and collective security.  Leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to their shared values, including individual liberty, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. 

Stronger Societies: Allied leaders issued a Strengthened Resilience Commitment to outline future priorities, including on the security of supply chains, critical infrastructure, and energy networks, as well as preparedness for pandemics and natural disasters. 

Deeper Partnerships: Allies enhanced NATO’s ability to strengthen the rules-based international order by increasing dialogue and practical cooperation with the Alliance’s partners, including the European Union and those in the Indo-Pacific (Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea).  Leaders recommitted to NATO’s Open Door Policy, which provides a path to membership for any European country that shares our values and meets the necessary responsibilities and obligations. 

Meetings with Foreign Leaders

Earlier today, President Biden met with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas of Estonia, President Egils Levits of Latvia, and President Gitanas Nauseda of Lithuania on the margins of the NATO Summit in Brussels. The President underscored strong U.S. support for the security of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as the entire Baltic region. 

The four leaders committed to strengthening political, military, and economic partnerships, including working together through NATO to address challenges posed by Russia and China.

President Biden also spoke today on the margins of the NATO Summit with President Andrzej Duda of Poland. In a separate conversation with President Duda and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, President Biden expressed appreciation for the opportunity to engage with the Bucharest Nine (B9) eastern flank allies, which occurred at a May 10 summit, co-chaired by Presidents Duda and Lohannis, in advance to today’s NATO Summit. 

The NATO Summit comes ahead of President Biden’s meeting with Russian President Putin in Geneva on Wednesday. 

Jaala Brown

Jaala Brown is Gen Z Voice at The Pavlovic Today.