NATO steps up collective defence, support for reforms in Ukraine
NATO Defence Ministers on Tuesday (3 June 2014) agreed to continue and further reinforce NATO’s reassurance measures in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. “This is a time for all Allies to play a part, and all Allies are doing so”, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. “Every single Ally is committing resources to our collective defence. When we say NATO’s defence is “all for one”, we mean it.”
Mr. Fogh Rasmussen strongly welcomed the United States announcement to commit 1 billion dollars to a European Reassurance Initiative as “a clear sign of America’s commitment to Europe, and the strength of the transatlantic bond.” The Secretary General also commended Poland’s intention to raise its defence spending to 2% of Gross Domestic Product.
Ministers also agreed to increase the capability, training and readiness of Allied forces to prepare for the longer-term implications of the crisis. A Readiness Action Plan, to be developed by the Wales Summit, will include measures aimed to enhance the NATO Response Force’s level of responsiveness and NATO’s intelligence and awareness; to pre-position equipment and supplies; and to focus NATO exercises even more on specific defence challenges.
Ministers approved Germany’s initiative on “Framework Nations”, which will help boost multinational cooperation to develop the forces and capabilities needed to meet NATO’s requirements and cope with new security challenges. NATO Secretary General welcomed the decision by Denmark, Germany and Poland to start work to raise the readiness of Multinational Corps North East in Poland. “This will strengthen our ability to address future threats and challenges in the region. And it is a significant contribution to our collective defence”, he said.
Ministers further agreed a new cyber-defence policy, recognising cyber as part of NATO’s collective defence. This policy will help enhance information sharing and mutual assistance between Allies, improve NATO’s cyber defence training and exercises, and boost cooperation with industry.
NATO Defence Ministers met their Ukrainian counterpart Mykhailo Koval in the NATO-Ukraine Commission. They welcomed the clear outcome of the recent presidential elections and reaffirmed their support for Ukraine’s security and defence reforms. A comprehensive package of measures aimed to increase the capacity and strength of the Ukrainian armed force will be finalised in the coming weeks.