NATO Chief Meets US Adviser Regarding Ukraine

( – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg concluded a visit to Washington and Ottawa last week as the alliance prepares for its upcoming 75th Anniversary Summit hosted by the United States in Washington in July.

While in the US and Canada, Secretary-General Stoltenberg unveiled new defense spending figures that showed the largest increase in defense spending throughout the European member states and Canada in decades, with defense expenditures up 18 percent this year.

Stoltenberg also announced that 23 member states will be investing at least 2 percent of their countries’ GDP in defense for 2024.

The NATO chief met with President Joe Biden at the White House last Monday where he presented the new defense spending figures. The two also outlined NATO’s priorities for the upcoming Summit, including urgent support for Ukraine.

The following day, Stoltenberg met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken where they held a joint press conference and discussed strengthening the NATO alliance, expanding its partnership with Indo-Pacific allies, continued aid to Ukraine, and the 75th Summit.

Stoltenberg also met with members of the Senate NATO Observer Group as well as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Secretary-General traveled to Ottawa on Wednesday where he met with Prime Minister Trudeau and Canada’s Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly.

Stoltenberg returned to Washington on Thursday to meet with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to discuss the preparations for the 75th Anniversary Summit and “underscored NATO’s unwavering support for Ukraine,” according to the readout from the White House.

The NATO chief also met with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner and House Oversight Committee Ranking Member, Virginia Democrat Rep. Gerry Connolly.

The NATO Summit will be held July 9-11 and officials are anticipating large-scale protests, particularly from pro-Hamas demonstrators who have disrupted nearly every international gathering in the past eight months.

The summit is vital to the president, who has faced some pushback from other NATO countries over his reluctance to allow Ukraine to use US-supplied weapons to target Russia. Biden has sought to make strengthening the alliance a central part of his foreign policy to set himself apart from his Republican challenger Donald Trump.

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