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EU, NATO to announce enhanced cooperation in new joint declaration – Reports

Brussels: The European Union and NATO should "cooperate more closely" amid the Ukrainian conflict, with European defense complementing NATO's collective defense, the two organizations said in a draft declaration, as quoted by Belgian newspaper L'Echo. On Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, European Council President Charles Michel, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will sign the third joint declaration on cooperation in Brussels. The document was supposed to be signed back in 2021, but the conclusion was postponed for unknown reasons. "NATO remains the foundation of the collective defense of the allies and is of paramount importance for the security of the Euro-Atlantic region. We recognize the importance of a stronger and more developed European defense that contributes positively to global and transatlantic security and is complementary to NATO and compatible [with the bloc]," the draft declaration read, as quoted by L'Echo. NATO and the EU had prepared the text of the document even before the start of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, but were then forced to change it significantly due to the recent developments in the international arena, a European source told the Belgian newspaper. The first two joint declarations on EU-NATO cooperation were signed in 2016 and 2018. They outlined how the EU and NATO would act together against common security threats, including cyber and hybrid ones. The EU and NATO currently have 21 member countries in common. UNI/SPUTNIK