NATO chief to address media ahead of next week’s leader’s summit

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will hold a press conference today ahead of the alliance’s December 4 summit in London.

nato stoltenberg press conference

Photo: EPA Olivier Hoslet

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will hold a press conference today ahead of the alliance’s December 4 summit in London.

Next week’s meeting, which marks NATO’s 70th anniversary, comes amid souring relations between key member states. In response to the Trump administration’s snap decision to pull US forces out of northern Syria without consulting NATO, French President Emmanuel Macron described the alliance as experiencing “brain death,” adding that Europe could no longer depend on Washington to defend the alliance.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced that it will reduce its contributions to the NATO common fund, which mostly covers the cost of the headquarters and certain military operations, from 22% to 16%. Though largely symbolic, the cut represents a $150 million shortfall. With tensions running high, today’s gathering is likely to be solely commemorative; the overarching goal will be to avoid a repeat of last year’s disastrous summit.

Moving forward, with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s power in Germany waning, expect President Macron to attempt to fill her role as Europe’s de facto leader. In the geopolitical long-term, this could see greater EU military integration, with Europe relying less on the transatlantic alliance, and greater rapprochement with Russia as European capitals works to ensure their own security.

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