Tuesday, June 21, 2022 12:30 to 14:00
The Future of NATO: Transatlantic Security Alliance or European Strategic Autonomy?
The AJC Transatlantic Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom hosted H.E. Francesco M. Talò, Ambassador of Italy to NATO and H.E. Nataliia Galibarenko, Ambassador of Ukraine to NATO as well as MEP Urmas Paet (Renew Europe), Vice Chair of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and Former Foreign Minister of Estonia between 2005 and 2014, for a discussion on the future of the transatlantic alliance. Attended by over 80 guests and expertly moderated by defense journalist Teri Schultz, the discussion covered NATO’s most pressing challenges: Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and the security challenges this poses for Europe and the transatlantic alliance.
Faced with the return of history to the continent, Europe is reevaluating the importance of military power for our collective security. Torn between the concepts of strategic autonomy and strategic responsibility, the panelists discussed the best way to protect Western freedom and democracy from foreign aggressors.
Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, gave strong opening remarks on how the Russian invasion threatened all of Europe: “There is a need for denazification today, AJC CEO David Harris said last week after President Zelensky’s speech [during AJC Global Forum], but it is in Moscow, not Kiev. And as we have now raised more than $2 million for our “Stand with Ukraine” fund for humanitarian aid, we have also been urging the U.S. and the entire West to provide crucial military aid [...] Putin gets away with invading a sovereign nation in an unprovoked war. Our so-called commitment to the rules-based international order will be exposed as a cheap talking point. [...] Let us not become more fatigue of this war than the Ukrainian heroes fighting it. Ukraine must win, for their sake and ours. In that spirit, ladies and gentlemen, Slavu Ukraiini."
Ambassador Galibarenko reiterated that her country needs more weapons, but also expressed her gratitude for all the help Ukraine had received: “When you are looking at so many countries, even countries like Australia, it’s something very inspiring, it shows that we are not alone and that so many countries are ready to help despite the geographical distance.[...] The spirits and the bravery of Ukrainian armed forces is of course the main prerequisite of the victory in this war but this victory can only happen and can be accelerated only with Western help, with the delivery of weapons, with the financial assistance, with the humanitarian assistance."
Ambassador Talò further conveyed Italy's strong support for Ukraine: "My country is strongly in favor of sanctions on gas, on oil though we are one of the most dependent on on this. So day one after the start of the war we started to find new alternatives. We have alternatives. We are confident that we can find a new one and of course this means that we have to pay a price. But we are willing to do it. It's something important."
MEP Paet made clear that the brutal war is on top of Europe's agenda: “The ultimate goal for Europe today is free Ukraine which controls all of its territory. This must be the goal number one for each European and international organization and every European country.”
Daniel Schwammenthal, AJC Transatlantic Institute Director
Jeroen Dobber, Head of the FNF Global Security Hub
H.E. Nataliia Galibarenko, Ambassador of Ukraine to NATO
H.E. Francesco M. Talò, Ambassador of Italy to NATO
MEP Urmas Paet, Vice Chair of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Former Foreign Minister of Estonia between 2005 and 2014 (Renew Europe)
Moderator: Teri Schultz, Freelance Reporter