NATO'S secretary-general wants more joint action with the European Union to face the security challenges coming from Russia and the violent Islamic extremism plaguing some countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Jens Stoltenberg told a European Parliament hearing Monday that NATO and the EU should combine efforts to make member countries more "resilient" to the so-called hybrid brand of warfare that Western governments accuse Russia of waging in Ukraine. Along with military force, hybrid warfare includes cyber-attacks, the use of social media, deception and disinformation.

The NATO secretary-general also said the EU should assist friendly countries to its south and southeast like Jordan to combat the spread of Islamic extremism.

Stoltenberg told European lawmakers that "the time has come to spend more on defense."