NATO set to agree on new strategy to counter Russian threat

NATO set to agree on new strategy to counter Russian threat
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NATO on Thursday is set to agree on a new strategy to counter potential Russian threats, Reuters reports

The confidential strategy, called the “Concept for Deterrence and Defense in the Euro-Atlantic Area,” is aimed at preparing for attacks in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, which could include nuclear weapons and cyberattacks, the outlet reported.

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on German radio Deutschlandfunk that the plan was “a way of deterrence.”

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“And this is being adapted to the current behavior of Russia  and we are seeing violations particularly of the air space over the Baltic states, but also increasing incursions over the Black Sea,” she said, according to Reuters.

NATO’s defense ministers arrived in Brussels for a two-day meeting on Thursday and Friday ahead of the upcoming NATO summit next June in Madrid.

In a news conference on Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said defense ministers will "agree on an overarching plan for the defense of the Euro-Atlantic area, ensuring we have the right forces in the right place at the right time.”

NATO’s relationship with Russia has been strained since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

Russia has since held military drills near its borders with other European countries and has engaged in nuclear missile development and sent military flights into NATO airspace. Meanwhile, Russia alleges that NATO engages in provocative activity.

Most recently, NATO expelled eight “undeclared” Russian intelligence officers earlier this month and decreased the number of positions that Moscow can accredit from 20 to 10. In response, Moscow on Monday announced it would end its diplomatic mission to NATO.

Stoltenberg told reporters on Thursday that the alliance still has “avenues and channels” to communicate with Russia but regrets Moscow's decision to end its mission.

“NATO’s approach to Russia remains the same as before, meaning credible deterrence and defense, combined with efforts to have a meaningful dialogue with Russia,” Stoltenberg said.