Ambassador Robert E. Hunter on NATO and Ukraine

Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO (1993-98) Robert E. Hunter addressed German journalists at the U.S. Embassy, Berlin. Ambassador Hunter, who is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., firmly declared Germany to be our “central partner” in transatlantic relations. He explained Germany’s importance in addressing a range of common challenges, including ISIL, Russia and Ukraine, countering extremism in the Middle East and closer NATO-EU integration. He outlined that the NATO Summit in Wales sent a clear signal that the U.S. is still present in Europe and will honor its Article V commitment. He also explained how President Obama clarified the foreign policy “pivot to Asia” as a basketball metaphor for the U.S. planting itself firmly in Europe with the pivot foot, while turning to engage partners in the East from a solid foundation. Ambassador Hunter said Germany is now our “pivot” as the biggest economy in Europe, located furthest to the East, and having the greatest economic ties to the Eastern European states. He argued that Germany and the U.S. should be at the center of addressing the security challenges of our time. Ambassador Hunter said he has long urged much closer cooperation between NATO and the EU. He also emphasized that NATO should address security overall, including economic development, and not just military cooperation.