Policy

NATO chief: Alliance transforming to reflect ‘long-term consequences’ of Russian invasion

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in a new interview said the military alliance is transforming to reflect the “long-term consequences” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including a shift from “tripwire deterrence” to “deterrence by denial or defence.”

Stoltenberg, in conversation with The Telegraph, said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine “has already had long-term consequences” on the alliance’s security, and is forcing the group to “adapt to that reality.”

“Regardless of when, how, the war in Ukraine ends, the war has already had long-term consequences for our security. NATO needs to adapt to that new reality. And that’s exactly what we are doing,” Stoltenberg said.

“NATO is the most successful alliance in history for two reasons. One is that we have been able to unite Europe and North America. The other is that we have been able to change when the world is changing. Now the world is changing and NATO is changing,” he added.

Stoltenberg specifically said NATO will change its presence on its eastern border. Prior to the invasion, the alliance had a “tripwire” force in place to illustrate its commitment to defend itself from a Russian offensive, The Telegraph noted. That presence, however, did not represent the group’s ability to fight off an invasion.

With the new changes in place, Stoltenberg said NATO’s existence in the region will be a strong force qualified to defend against an invasion.

“Since we have implemented so many immediate measures, we have the time now until the summit to make more longer-term decisions,” Stoltenberg said.

“This is part of the reset which we have to make, which is to move from tripwire deterrence to something which is more about deterrence by denial or defence. This is already in process,” he added.

The secretary-general said NATO has to “ensure that we continue to be able, in a more dangerous world, to protect and defend all NATO allies.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24 when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military operation in Ukraine, has been ongoing for more than six weeks.

NATO has sent 40,000 more troops to its eastern flank to help support the alliance’s allies in the region, according to The Telegraph.

Ukraine, however, has been pleading with NATO for more weapons to defend itself against Russia’s offensive. On Thursday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he discussed the need for weapons with Stoltenberg.

“Met with Secretary General @jensstoltenberg at NATO HQ in Brussels. I came here today to discuss three most important things: weapons, weapons, and weapons. Ukraine’s urgent needs, the sustainability of supplies, and long-term solutions which will help Ukraine to prevail,” Kuleba said on Twitter.

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