Statement of Foreign Ministers on the Readiness Action Plan
Today, we the Allied Foreign Ministers met to review implementation of the Readiness Action Plan. This has been the first high-level political meeting after the Wales Summit. We welcome progress achieved in delivering on the decisions taken by our Heads of State and Government.
The Readiness Action Plan agreed by Heads of State and Government at the Wales Summit is a response to the changed and broader security environment in and near Europe. It responds to the challenges posed by Russia and their strategic implications. It also responds to the risks and threats emanating from our southern neighbourhood, the Middle East and North Africa. Its implementation will significantly enhance NATO’s readiness and responsiveness and will contribute to ensuring that NATO forces remain ready and able to respond swiftly and firmly to current and future challenges to the Alliance. It will strengthen both NATO’s collective defence and crisis management capability.
Implementation of the Plan is well underway. Today, we reiterate the commitment of our nations to ensuring that NATO remains a strong, ready, robust and responsive Alliance. There is already an increased presence of NATO maritime, land and air forces and meaningful military activity in the eastern part of Alliance territory. All Allies are contributing to this defensive effort and they will continuously rotate air, maritime and land forces in the region and conduct additional exercises, 28 for 28, through 2015. This provides the fundamental baseline requirement for assurance and deterrence. These forces are effectively responding to increased Russian military activity, including through monitoring Russian military flights and maintaining the integrity and safety of our airspace. At the same time, we are enhancing the NATO Response Force’s capabilities, including through the development of a new Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, the VJTF. We welcome the establishment of an interim VJTF coordinated by SACEUR with forces predominantly from Germany, Norway and the Netherlands, available to the Alliance early in 2015.
Work on the other measures envisaged in the Readiness Action Plan is advancing rapidly, including on the establishment of an appropriate multinational command and control presence on the territories of the Eastern Allies. NATO Defence Ministers will further assess progress and take decisions, when they meet in February 2015, on enhancing the Alliance’s readiness and responsiveness as part of the adaptation of NATO to the changed security environment, in line with the decisions taken at the Wales Summit.