Kiska: The NATO Summit confirmed the desire for unity and solidarity

The opening negotiations of the ongoing NATO summit in Brussels have spread worries over severe disputes between the allies and confirmed the desire of the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for unity and solidarity. President Andrej Kiska declared it on Wednesday after the end of the first round of the two-day summit.

The President admitted that before the summit there was concern about the mood and working atmosphere of the negotiations, but the first part, despite the signs of certain conflicts between the allies, confirmed the desire for unity and solidarity. “No one questioned these basic words.”

He explained that the next mission was for the allies to join common values, and if we can share them, we can jointly defend them. He mentioned that one of the first speeches belonged to American President Donald Trump, who stressed that his parents came from Europe and that he would do everything for the unity of the Alliance and to defend peace in Europe and the world.

“Trump also touched on the level of costs that countries have given to defense, and has told many members that they are inadequately fulfilling their commitments. He expressed his wish that this spending be higher,” Kiska said. According to his words much was said about this proposal, and he stressed in his speech that he was proud to have presented a clear promise by the Slovak government to increase defense spending.

“When I became president four years ago, our budget fell slightly below one percent of gross domestic product. From the beginning, I repeated that we had entered the Alliance with a clear commitment that we must also fulfill. If everyone is for one, one must be for everyone,” the president explained. Kiska specified that several allies presented similar commitments, and for Slovakia, at a specific level, two percent of GDP in defense in 2024 and 1.6 percent of GDP in 2020.

Kiska pointed out that the debate itself on higher spending on defense is not enough if people do not feel safe. He pointed out that the Baltic countries are right to ask if NATO would truly defend them if Russia decides to take steps like in Ukraine or Georgia. “I have stressed that the Alliance must make it clear that it can quickly and operationally react by moving troops if Russia does so,” Kiska said.