BFF-70 NATO to focus on deterrence, ‘managing’ Russia ties at summit
NATO to focus on deterrence, ‘managing’ Russia ties at summit
WARSAW, May 28, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – NATO said Monday it will focus on five
key areas from deterrence to modernisation and EU relations at its July
summit, with measures to “manage” ties with an increasingly assertive Russia
high on the agenda.
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told lawmakers at the spring session of
the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in the Polish capital Warsaw that the summit
will also focus on projecting stability in border regions — particularly in
the south — as well as burden-sharing.
Building on the Alliance’s 2016 decision to deploy battle groups on its
eastern flank facing Russia, Stoltenberg said he expected leaders at the July
11 and 12 summit in Brussels to “make decisions on reinforcement readiness
and military mobility” of forces.
“Our deterrence and defence is not only dependent on the forces we have
deployed, but it also very much depends on our ability to move forces quickly
if needed,” he said.
NATO member states have deployed around 4,000 troops to the Baltic states
and Poland to counter the threat to the alliance’s eastern flank,
particularly since the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
With relations between Russia and the West at a post-Cold War low, the
NATO chief also said he expected the alliance to reiterate its “dual-track”
approach towards Moscow “about deterrence and defence combined with political
“Even if we don’t believe in a better relationship with Russia in the near
future, we need to manage our relationship with Russia,” he added.
The 2018 summit comes against a backdrop of increasing concern about
growing Russian assertiveness in the areas of hybrid and cyber warfare.
In a special report on countering Russia’s hybrid threats, Britain’s Lord
Jopling told the assembly over the weekend that he alliance should consider a
new collective “Article 5B” defence provision to trigger a collective
response in the event of so-called “hybrid warfare” attack.
“The article would make clear that hybrid attacks would trigger a
collective response from the Alliance,” the report said.
NATO’s Article 5 collective defence commitment requires all member states
to come to the rescue if any of their peers are attacked.
In March, US General Curtis Scaparrotti, the commander of NATO forces in
Europe, said member states were working to determine when a cyber attack
could be considered to have triggered Article 5.