Statement by the Prime Minister at the NATO press conference: 10 February 2022
When NATO was founded more than 75 years ago, its members made an unprecedented commitment to collective security.
And when the Berlin Wall came down, Europeans made it clear that they wanted a future where their freedom and security were inextricably linked.
This is why NATO has agreed that any country should be free to pursue the security alliances it chooses.
And we must resist, we must oppose any return to the days when the fate of nations was decided above them by a handful of great powers.
And I want to emphasize that it’s not just about Russia, just like NATO itself isn’t just about Russia, of course not.
It is about defending the founding principles of an alliance which, perhaps more than any other institution, has brought stability and peace, prosperity to the world.
And that must be the foundation of our diplomatic efforts.
The UK’s commitment to European security is unconditional and unwavering. We have the largest defense budget in Europe and the second largest in NATO.
We have contributed more troops than any other ally to NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence.
And today, I agreed with the Secretary General on a package of support measures to further strengthen our collective security, sending troops, planes and ships to defend NATO from north to south.
At the beginning of the week, I met the Lithuanian Prime Minister and I will soon be going to Poland.
And these are the countries where every day the population wakes up with a keen awareness of the threat just across its border.
And these are countries whose voices and perspectives must be at the heart of every discussion we have.
Because I believe that if we can keep a strong grip on the fundamentals, those core principles that define our alliance and combine strong deterrence with patient diplomacy, then we can find our way through this crisis.
But the stakes are very high and this is a very dangerous time.
And what’s at stake are the rules that protect every nation, every nation – big and small.
Thank you very much to all.