Brussels, Jan 10 (EFE).- The European Union and Nato have agreed to deepen their cooperation to better face rising geostrategic challenges from China and protect their critical infrastructure amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
After a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, the leaders of the Atlantic military alliance, the European Council and European Commission signed a joint statement highlighting Nato’s “essential” role in Euro-Atlantic security.
“Our declaration makes clear that Nato remains the foundation of our collective defense and remains essential for Euro-Atlantic security,” Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, Council president Charles Michel and the head of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen said in the joint statement.
The latest declaration comes against the backdrop of Russia’s “brutal” aggression against its neighbor, which represents the “gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades” and “undermines European and global security and stability.”
The leaders repeated their condemnation of Moscow’s aggression “in the strongest possible terms,” and called for Russia to “immediately stop this war and withdraw from Ukraine.”
The allies also reiterated their “unwavering and continued support” for Ukraine’s independence and “inherent” right to self-determination and self-defense, while also cautioning against underestimating Russia, which, they warned, was “mobilizing more troops, working hard to acquire more equipment, more ammunition (…) and there is no indication that President Putin has changed the overall aim of his brutal war against Ukraine.
“So we need to be prepared for the long haul,” Stoltenberg, Michel and von der Leyen said.
“Authoritarian actors challenge our interests, values and democratic principles using multiple means – political, economic, technological and military,” the declaration said, highlighting that the world has entered a new era of “growing strategic competition.”
“China’s growing assertiveness and policies present challenges that we need to address,” the leaders said. EFE