COVID-19 Crisis, NATO Reflection Process, Ukraine & Open Skies Treaty in the spotlight during NATO PA Bureau meeting

27 May 2020

Earlier today, the Bureau of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) held another remote meeting to discuss the coronavirus crisis and the Assembly’s response. 

“We would all prefer to meet in person. But, even in times when we cannot, it is extremely important for our parliaments to exchange views on our national and collective responses to the COVID-19 crisis,” stressed NATO PA Acting President Attila Mesterhazy (Hungary). 

“I see an important role for our Assembly in the coming months in analysing the many dimensions of this global crisis and helping us draw the lessons from it,” Acting President Mesterhazy told his colleagues.

Members addressed the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their respective countries and parliaments and reviewed the Assembly’s own adaptation to the crisis and the next steps.

The Assembly has planned a number of virtual meetings on the short- and long-term impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and its Committees are currently preparing special reports which will address the broad range of issues and challenges connected with the crisis. 

“As we deal with this acute crisis, other challenges and threats have not disappeared. Indeed, some actors could exploit this crisis for their own ends. We therefore also discussed a number of other issues of international security,” Acting President Mesterhazy said. 

Members thus discussed:

-    the future of the Open Skies Treaty in light of Russia’s long-standing and continued selective implementation and misuse of the Treaty which led to the announcement of the United States’ intended withdrawal;

-    the Assembly’s contribution to the NATO Secretary General’s reflection process on strengthening NATO’s political dimension;

-    the political and security situation in Ukraine, where the NATO PA’s spring session was supposed to have taken place earlier this week.