Readout of Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper’s Remarks at the NATO Defense Ministerial

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Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper participated in and provided remarks during three sessions at the June 17-18, 2020, NATO Defense Ministerial.

On day one, Secretary Esper noted that the security challenges that existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic still exist today, and the Alliance must take steps to ensure the health crisis does not become a security crisis. He discussed the importance of the Alliance’s continued focus on strengthening defense and deterrence, and the continued emphasis on defense spending.

Secretary Esper addressed missile challenges presented by Russia, and welcomed decisions by the Alliance to strengthen our defenses in response to Russia’s destabilizing behavior.

Secretary Esper stressed the importance of a strong, modernized nuclear deterrent to preserve peace and deter aggression against the U.S., NATO, and our Allies and partners. He also talked about the urgency of engaging in meaningful trilateral arms control efforts with both Russia and China.

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Original Source: Defense.gov

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