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PM's press conference remarks at the NATO Summit: 30 June 2022

The Prime Minister's press conference remarks at the NATO Summit in Madrid.

This has been a highly successful and historic NATO Summit in which we have once again exceeded expectations in the unity and single mindedness with which this alliance is confronting Putin’s illegal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine.

After 127 days of war we in NATO are now more resolved than ever that Europe’s boundaries cannot be changed by force and that we must give the Ukrainians the means to protect themselves. And we are.

In the last few days virtually everyone around the table has agreed to give more to help.

And at the same we have to recognise the impacts that this brutal invasion are being felt around the world. In Africa, in Latin America, in Asia - there is not a country that is not being affected now by the surge in energy prices and the shortages of food and fertiliser.

And so just as we in the UK are focused on helping people next month, in July to the 8 million households with £1200 with more help to come, £400 for every family to help with the cost of living and energy. So too, the governments of the Commonwealth, of the G7 and NATO are determined to work together to ease the pressure around the world, whether that means getting the grain from Ukraine or encouraging moves to increase global energy supplies or helping countries to find alternative sources of fertiliser

And we must frankly recognise that not every country takes the same view of Putin’s invasion or sees it in the way that we do. And so we have agreed that we have to explode some myths.

We have to explode the myth that western sanctions are in some way responsible for these price spikes when of course it is the Russian invasion that has caused the shortages of food and Putin’s blockade that are stopping the grain leaving Ukrainian ports.

We need to explode the myth that NATO was in any way responsible for provoking the conflict. Nothing could be further from the truth. And if you want proof that this is a purely defensive alliance, you could have no more eloquent testimony than the accession of Finland and Sweden – quintessentially peace loving countries that have been neutral for decades.

The fact that these two paladins for peace have joined NATO tells you all you need to know about NATO and all you need to know about Putin.

We need to show the global south that we are the partners they need and that we NATO countries and that we’re there to help them as they make the transition to a green future and that they should beware the trap of running up huge debts to other countries that do not share our values and maybe do not have their best interests at heart.

And the final myth we need to debunk is that when it comes to crisis such as this, western democracies, because of the pressures that politicians face, do not have the same staying power.

And I think If Ukraine were to be crushed or forced into a bad peace, the consequences for freedom around the world would be appalling.

And that view is shared by everyone in NATO, so let us be absolutely clear, the best way for us to win the argument around the world about our values, what we stand for, about our opposition to the use of force to change boundaries, about international law. The best way to win that argument is for the Ukrainians to win and for Putin to fail in Ukraine.

That’s why I’m pleased today we have announced another billion pounds worth of military support. And if you wanted evidence of the amazing ability of the Ukrainians to fight back, to overcome adversity to repel the Russians, then then look at what has happened just today on Snake Island where Russia has had to cede ground.

In the end it will prove impossible for Putin to hold down a country that will not accept his rule.

This has been a crucial summit in that we are resolved not just to support Ukraine, but we have agreed a new strategic concept, we are moving beyond the doctrine of tripwire deterrence on NATO’s eastern flank to a new approach of defence deterrence by denial. And countries around the table are also recognising that they must spend more.

And in our case that means meeting, and being prepared to exceed, the target we set for ourselves a decade ago of everybody spending 2% of our GDP on defence, goals which were then set for a very different era. What we are saying is that we want Jens Stoltenberg, the General Secretary to start work on that new target now and he has agreed to do that.

We need to invest for the long term, in vital capabilities like future combat air, while simultaneously adapting to a more dangerous and competitive world. The logical conclusion of the investments we propose to embark, of these decisions, is 2.5% of GDP on Defence by the end of the decade.

I want to say a big thank you to our Spanish hosts, and I think they have done an amazing job and thanks to Jens Stoltenberg, and say at the end of this Madrid Summit – the NATO alliance is plainly in robust health and getting stronger, with new members and a renewed purpose.

We can see that our work is cut out and we can see that there are billions of people around the world, swing voters, who need to hear and understand our arguments, but we have a huge advantage of knowing what we want, in believing in our ideas and having the means to do what we want to do, and above all we are united and, if history is any guide, then I believe that this great alliance will again be successful.

Thank you very much.

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/prime-ministers-office-10-downing-street

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pms-press-conference-remarks-at-the-nato-summit-30-june-2022

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