London, Wednesday, 16 March 2022
According to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO defence ministers have tasked military commanders with developing options to bolster the alliance's long-term defence posture.
"Today we charged military commanders to develop options across all domains on land, air, sea, and space," Stoltenberg said at a news conference following the extraordinary meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels.
He explained that plans include deploying "sea carrier strike groups, submarines, and significant numbers of combat ships on a permanent basis," as well as more troops and "more pre-positioned equipment and supplies" on land, as well as strengthening "integrated air and missile defence systems" and deploying "sea carrier strike groups, submarines, and significant numbers of combat ships."
To preserve NATO's security, Stoltenberg stated that allies must spend at least 2% of their GDP on defence.
The minister also pledged to continue to "give major support to Ukraine, including military supplies, financial assistance, and humanitarian aid," according to him.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Stoltenberg, "underestimated the solidarity and courage of the Ukrainian people" and failed to take control of the country and its capital, Kyiv.
At the same time, he warned that "we should not underestimate Russia's capabilities when it comes to continuing the fight and also continuing to strike cities," citing Russia's "brutal combat" in Chechnya and Syria as examples.
He underlined NATO's demand that Russia "end this conflict, promptly remove its forces, and engage in good faith dialogue."
The war between Russia and Ukraine, which began on February 24, has sparked worldwide censure, financial sanctions against Moscow, and an exodus of global companies from Russia.
According to UN estimates, at least 726 civilians have been killed and 1,174 injured in Ukraine so far. However, it has warned that the true toll is likely to be much higher because it has not been able to gain access to places where hostilities have risen.
According to UN agencies, almost 3 million people have fled to neighbouring countries and 6.7 million have been internally displaced.
(Research and edit by: The Decision Maker – International Relations editors)