“Thanks to the unity of Europe and America, the integration of a united Germany into Europe and the international community has been possible. The Cold War ended without a bullet fired and conditions were created for the unification of Europe, “said Jens Stoltenberg, the first man of the NATO, in his speech at the “Kerber Foundation” in Berlin on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the demolition of the Berlin Wall. Stoltenberg emphasized that it is difficult to imagine today that Berlin was once divided, that Germany was torn into two parts and that Europe was divided during the Cold War. That is why, in his words, it is even more important to never forget the courage of countless people in former East Germany and in communist countries across Europe who have rebelled against tyranny and the deliberate spread of fear.
According to Stoltenberg, because of its past, Germany understands better than other European countries the importance of freedom and democracy and German history shows the importance of strong ties between Europe and America. For this reason, in 1949, the NATO Pact was created, to defend itself against aggression and to allow European countries to protect each other in accordance with the principle of “all for one and one for all”. Stoltenberg recalled that in 1955 NATO had extended its promise of collective protection to West Germany aslo. He added that it was a remarkable gesture of confidence, considering that West Germany had only been a rival in the war against America, England and other European countries ten years before. However, in Stoltenberg’s words, it was a gesture of trust, made in order not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Stoltenberg added that NATO was and still is political, not just a military alliance and that it successfully protects peace and promotes European values. He also said that the integration of West Germany into the organization enabled its successful development and eventually led to its reunification, integration into Europe and the demolition of the Berlin Wall. Stoltenberg recalled two of the biggest challenges facing the united European- annexation of Crimea and Russia’s decision to begin deploying its rockets across Europe and cease to comply with the provisions of the INF Agreement. According to him, this was NATO`s largest strengthening of its troops after the Cold War and the European Union responded to Russia’s unacceptable behavior by economic sanctions. In addition, America also terminated compliance with the provisions of the INF Agreement, which was supported by all NATO members. Stoltenberg added that NATO would do everything in its power to continue successfully protecting the citizens of European countries, but would not respond to unacceptable Russian behavior in the same way, by the same measures.
“We do not want a new race in arming or deployment of our rockets across Europe and a new Cold War”, Stoltenberg emphasized.