BRUSSELS, January 10./TASS/. A new declaration on cooperation between NATO and the European Union is aimed to strengthen the strategic partnership between the parties, against the backdrop of growing geopolitical competition in the world, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference on Tuesday after the signing.
"We have just signed the third NATO-EU joint declaration to further advance the strategic partnership between NATO and the European Union. This is more important than ever," Stoltenberg said. According to the NATO chief, the move is necessitated by threats that come from "authoritarian actors" in the international political arena. In this context, he mentioned Russia's special military operation in Ukraine as well as challenges presented by China's "growing assertiveness and policies".
According to the declaration, NATO remains "the foundation of our collective defense," but the Alliance also "recognizes the value of a more capable European defense that contributes positively to our security and is complementary to and interoperable with NATO".
Stoltenberg also drew attention to the fact that the document envisages taking "the partnership between NATO and the European Union to the next level" to address, in particular, "the growing geostrategic competition," as well as protect critical infrastructures in the region and prevent foreign interference.