MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Saturday, 02 March 2024

Nato troops on ‘high alert’, backed by significant air and maritime assets

Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, said the session to finalise plans for the summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, would focus on how to help defence manufacturers meet an increase in demand for weapons that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022

Lara Jakes New York Published 17.06.23, 04:06 AM
Jens Stoltenberg

Jens Stoltenberg Getty Images

Nato defence ministers were weighing on how to bolster Europe’s defence and whether Ukraine will be allowed to join the military alliance, two issues that will loom over other goals at the alliance’s annual summit next month.

Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, said the session to finalise plans for the summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, would focus on how to help defence manufacturers meet an increase in demand for weapons that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the 16 months since President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, “we face the most serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security for a generation”, Stoltenberg told the defence chiefs in brief public remarks on Friday.

He said that because of the war in Ukraine, as many as 40,000 troops under Nato’s direct command — and more from domestic militaries — were “on high alert, all backed by significant air and maritime assets.” He also noted that the number of battle units “from the Baltics to the Black Sea,” which separates Russia and the southernmost Nato states, had doubled over the past year.

He also said the talks — capping two days of discussions in Brussels — would examine how to compel member states to spend 2 per cent of domestic GDP on national defence. Although that has been the Nato spending threshold for years, some countries, including Germany and Luxembourg, still fall short of it.

But the biggest question at the Vilnius gathering will be whether — or when — to include Ukraine in Nato. The matter has divided alliance members, with some states on Nato’s eastern flank, closer to Russia, pushing to give Ukraine strong assurances for its eventual inclusion.

Kyiv missile attack

After days of reprieve, Russian missiles were fired at the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on Friday, where explosionswere heard as a delegation of top African officials visited the city.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT