NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced that the Atlantic Alliance will approve this Thursday increase military forces on its eastern flank and has assured that he hopes that the countries agree to offer support to Ukraine in the face of “chemical, biological and nuclear threats”.
The Atlantic Alliance has considerably increased its presence on its eastern border, with around 40,000 troops spread from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and is looking to deploy four new combat units to Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania.
These new units are added to the four already existing, with a total of around 5,000 troops deployed by NATO in the Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – and Poland after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.
More troops on land, sea and air
“I hope the leaders will agree to strengthen NATO’s posture in all domains, with major increases in the eastern part of the Alliance on land, air and seaStoltenberg said at a press conference ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday.
The secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance has underlined that the crisis in Ukraine has shown that the NATO must restore its long-term defense and deterrence posturesomething that the Alliance countries are expected to discuss at their next summit in Madrid at the end of June.
“There’s a new sense of urgency because we cannot take peace for grantedStoltenberg warned.
Support against “chemical and nuclear threats”
Stoltenberg has stated that he hopes “allies will agree to offer additional support, including cybersecurity assistance, as well as equipment to help Ukraine protect against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats“.
The secretary general has not offered details on the type of equipment that the countries of the Atlantic Alliance could provide to Ukraine to defend itself against chemical weapons, but has shown his concern “for the possibility of using” this type of weapons or “biological” ones.
Stoltenberg recalled that Russia has already used chemical agents against political opposition figures and also in Alliance territory, such as the attack in Salisbury, in the United Kingdom, in 2018 against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
The press secretary of the Kremlin, Dimitri Peskov, assured this Tuesday that Russia considers the possibility of using nuclear weapons if you are faced with an “existential threat”.
“Russia must understand that a nuclear war should never be fought and that it can never win a nuclear war”, warned Stoltenberg, who underlined the need to “do everything possible” to prevent the conflict “from escalating beyond Ukraine and become even deadlier and more dangerous than what we see today.”
Call on China to condemn the Russian invasion
The NATO Secretary General has called on China to condemn the war in Ukraine and to do not provide “material support” to Russia.
Although China has not condemned the Russian invasion, Beijing has expressed concern about the conflict. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said on Saturday that the sanctions of Western countries against Moscow they were becoming “more and more scandalous”.
“It is of particular concern to NATO that China, for the first time, has questioned some of the key security principles, including the right of every nation in Europe to choose its own pathStoltenberg stressed.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.