July 11, 2023
VILNIUS, LT – U.S. Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Armed Services Intelligence Committees, participated in a press conference today at the 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. On the trip, he toured the Pabrade Training Area with US Army leaders, met with key NATO officials, and received updates on Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Senator King’s remarks are below and audio can be found HERE:
“History will show that Vladimir Putin did more for NATO than any public leader in the history of the world. NATO has never been stronger. It's never been more unified. It's never been more solid in terms of its plans and its future. And to that extent, it is because of the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
“I think it's important, as we're all looking and reflecting on this process, to really step back and think how remarkable it is that we have consensus rather than conflict. When you have over 30 nations, in fact, there are probably 40 nations here because of other countries that are interested and kind of partners of NATO. But when you have the consensus that we have both with regard to the future of NATO, but also to the support for the country of Ukraine, that's amazing. Conflict is more common when you have a large collection of people with diverse interests coming together. I think the consensus that I've seen develop over the last two days is really amazing. And I think that's an important lesson to take from this.
“I've reflected on today and thought—I used to teach my young daughter, who's now grown up, to remember things by mnemonics. And to me, the thing that has come through to me today is the four Ps. A plan, a vision. NATO has articulated new plans, regional plans that are executable, that are important, that are responsive to the challenges of the 21st century. The second P is partnership. And of course, that's what NATO is all about. Nothing in this world can be accomplished without partnership. The third P is perseverance. It's not easy. Perseverance is absolutely critical. And the final P is passion. And what I've seen here over the last two days is people with a true passion for democracy, for human rights, and for peace. And I want to emphasize and conclude on that thought.
“NATO is an institution that is absolutely dedicated to peace. Not aggression, not territorial expansion, but establishing peace in Europe and in the entire world. And that's been what's so important about this conference that I've seen, as we've visited with all the various members and countries that we've talked to today, including the President of the United States.”
Senator King will hold a follow-up virtual press conference for Maine press on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 12th. More details to follow.