Defence Secretary Ben Wallace visits Netherlands, Germany and NATO headquarters

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Image shows Ben Wallace as he arrives in Germany to full military honours. Photographer: PO PHOT Dave Jenkins - UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

The Defence Secretary Ben Wallace this week held meetings in The Hague, Brussels and Berlin, continuing a period of diplomacy over the situation in Ukraine.

With the continuing Russian threat to the people and sovereignty of Ukraine, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace held talks with his counterparts in the Netherlands and Germany this week, as well as with the NATO Secretary General, to discuss a co-ordinated NATO response.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“Germany and the Netherlands are great friends of the United Kingdom.

“From my meetings with Ministers Ollongren and Lambrecht, and my discussions with Secretary Stoltenberg, I have no doubt that NATO is united in its determination to uphold European Security and that any further Russian invasion of Ukraine would be a strategic mistake met by swift and severe consequences.”

After holding discussions with the Dutch Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren in the Hague, the Secretary of State travelled on to Brussels for talks with the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Tod D. Wolters.

Image Shows Ben Wallace as he meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Photographer: PO PHOT Dave Jenkins – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

He then travelled to Berlin for his first visit since the formation of the new German government and the appointment of the new German defence minister, Christine Lambrecht. He was welcomed to the Defence Ministry by a military guard of honour before laying a wreath at the memorial.

The UK enjoys a close defence relationship with the Netherlands and Germany alike. The Netherlands is a member of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force – 10 nations working together to deliver forces at high readiness, across a range of roles, complementing NATO and European security.

Germany’s Air Force, meanwhile, works with the Royal Air Force as part of NATO’s air policing missions, while UK personnel are deployed alongside German armed forces as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali. 

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