DEFENCE

NATO SecGen Stoltenberg: The good news is that European allies invest more in defense

The US has called on its European allies to contribute more to burden sharing as regards the financing of joint defense, and the good news is that they are investing more in the field, as an additional 100 billion dollars are expected to be allocated for defense spending between 2016 – 2020, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday in an interview for private broadcaster Antena 3.

Asked whether in his opinion the US and President Donald Trump are fully committed to the North Atlantic Alliance and mainly to the implementation of Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, Stoltenberg answered in the affirmative, remarking that “this has been stated clearly by President (Donald) Trump and his administration again and again.”

NATO continues to call on Russia to come back into compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, but at the same time it has started to prepare for a world without the INF, and must make sure that it maintains credible deterrence and defense in the new context as well, said NATO’s top official, mentioning that the US, backed by its allies, has given Russia a chance to come back into compliance within 60 days, but this period will come to end in just two days and then the process of withdrawal [from the Treaty] will begin.

NATO has increased its land, naval and air presence in the Black Sea region and is considering other measures to maintain credible deterrence and defense, but at the same time it does not want a new cold war or an arms race with Russia, Stoltenberg added, emphasizing that the only thing that makes NATO a powerful and successful Alliance is its ability to adapt in a changing world, and now, as NATO is implementing the biggest change in the Alliance in a generation, Romania is part of this process.

The world is changing, we see new challenges, new security threats, we see a more offensive Russia, we see a military force against a neighbor in Ukraine, (…) we see cyber-threats, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. This is why NATO is now adapting, implementing the biggest change of the Alliance in a generation and Romania is part of this process, helping and contributing to the great NATO adaptation that will make this alliance strong, added the NATO Secretary General.

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