Comments to the media by the NATO Spokesperson on NATO-Russia founding act, NATO Missile defence systems

  • 06 Apr. 2015 -
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  • Press Release (2015) 059
  • Issued on 06 Apr. 2015
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  • Last updated: 10 Apr. 2015 10:56

In view of misleading media reports, this is what NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu actually told a Russian news outlet on Saturday (3 April) in response to a series of questions about the NATO-Russia Founding Act and NATO missile defence.

NATO flag flying at NATO Headquarters Brussels.

"Russia has violated international law and breached its commitments under the NATO-Russia Founding Act through its aggressive acts in Ukraine. Russia's military build-up and frequent no-notice snap exercises also run counter to the spirit of the NATO-Russia Founding Act and do not contribute to stability, transparency or predictability.

Unlike Russia, NATO continues to act in full compliance with its commitments under the Founding Act. NATO is a defensive alliance, and in response to Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine, we have increased our military presence in the eastern part of our alliance. This presence is rotational and well below any reasonable definition of ‎substantial combat forces. Plans to set up six command and control centers in Eastern Europe are also consistent with the Founding Act, which explicitly allows infrastructure to support reinforcements. All our measures are defensive, proportional and in line with our international commitments.

Your question on the NATO Response Force is based on wrong assumptions, as the NATO Response Force is not permanently based in the eastern part of the alliance. Units making up the NATO Response Force are based in their home countries. But let me be clear: NATO will defend all Allies against any threat.

On your final question, the Secretary General has welcomed the dedicated work in Lausanne on the parameters for a joint comprehensive plan of action regarding Iran’s nuclear program. At the same time, he stressed that ensuring Iran's compliance with obligations is vital for international security.

The threat to NATO countries posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles continues to increase. Over 30 countries have, or are acquiring, ballistic missile technology. The framework agreement does not change that fact. The aim of NATO's missile defence system, as its name clearly shows, is to protect NATO’s European Allies against ballistic missile threats emanating from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO missile defence is not directed against Russia."

Abbreviations expanded to full form for clarity.