NATO plans large-scale force to defend borders, says secretary general

NATO plans to deploy a permanent military force to defend the borders of its member countries against Russia.

Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance’s general secretary, said the move would be an example of the “long-term consequences” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraphhe revealed that NATO’s security alliance could strengthen its military presence in countries like Estonia and Latvia.

Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, NATO’s current presence on its eastern flank is known to have served as a smaller “trigger” for any Russian aggression.

Mr. Stoltenberg pointed out that NATO has 40,000 troops on its eastern borders, a number almost 10 times greater than before the invasion.

He added: “What we see now is a new reality, a new normal for European security. Therefore, we have now asked our military commanders to provide options for what we call a reset, a longer term adaptation of NATO.

Reset must be accompanied by increased defense spending by partner nations, Stoltenberg says

(AFP via Getty Images)

“I expect NATO leaders to make decisions on this when they meet in Madrid for the NATO summit in June.”

He described the “reset” as “to move from wired deterrence to something more about deterrence through denial or defense.”

Mr. Stoltenberg added: “It is already underway. We must ensure that we continue to be able, in a more dangerous world, to protect and defend all NATO allies.

Last month, the UK pledged to double its troops in Eastern Europe and send a new deployment to Bulgaria.

In the interview, Mr Stoltenberg urged other countries to emulate Britain’s support for Ukraine.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

Mr Johnson made a secretly planned visit to the Ukrainian capital on Saturday to discuss with Mr Zelensky UK plans to offer Ukraine more military aid, including anti-ship missiles and 120 armored vehicles . On Friday, the UK announced additional equipment worth £100million, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.

Mr Johnson said: “Ukraine defied odds and pushed Russian forces back from the gates of kyiv, achieving the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century.”

In a joint TV appearance with Mr Zelensky, he said: “I think the Ukrainians showed the courage of a lion, and you, Volodymyr, gave that lion’s roar.

“Having been here in kyiv for only a few hours, I have no doubt that an independent sovereign Ukraine will rise again thanks above all to the heroism, the courage of the Ukrainian people.”

In a video address, Mr Zelensky said Mr Johnson had made history by pledging to provide more military and financial support to Ukraine.

In his speech, he said: “The leadership of the United Kingdom will forever go down in history for providing our country with the necessary assistance, particularly on defence, as well as leadership on sanctions policy. .”

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