REUTERS

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General along with the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix on Tuesday addressed the EU Council of  Defense Ministers via video link to discuss the security implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts of both organizations to respond to this challenge.

Stoltenberg welcomed the close cooperation between NATO and the European Union, saying this is "more important than ever to help our respective members and partners, strengthen the resilience of our populations and fight disinformation", the NATO press service reports.

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Security challenges have not diminished because of COVID-19 and potential adversaries will look to test NATO's resolve, the secretary general warned.

As NATO responds to the pandemic, "it is also preparing for the long-term effects of COVID-19 and working to help Allies bolster their resilience", stressed Stoltenberg.

In late April, NATO ambassadors held behind closed doors a meeting with Stoltenberg where a decision was made to prepare for another wave of COVID-19 outbreak in the fall of 2020. It is expected that the plan will be submitted to and approved at NATO's defense ministerial in late June.