North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meets to show resolve over Russian Federation, paper over divisions

10 Juin, 2018, 05:17 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis attend a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels Belgium. REUTERS  Francois Lenoir  File

"We have decided further steps to strengthen our shared security and boost defense and deterrence against threats from any direction", NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters.

NATO defense ministers have chose to build commands to help protect trans-Atlantic sea lines, and support logistics and military mobility within Europe at their last meeting.

Trump's first trip overseas as president included a stop at last year's North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) governmental leaders meeting, allowing him to address European leaders who were anxious about whether the USA would continue its level of support for the Nato alliance.

NATO defense ministers met Thursday in a fresh show of resolve against Russian Federation and played down a series of festering trans-Atlantic disputes that threaten to undermine unity across the 29-nation military alliance. They also are expected to approve a plan to increase, by 2020, the number of allied air, ground and naval units that could be ready for combat within 30 days of being put on alert.

Relations between Moscow and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation remain at their lowest levels in years, severely damaged in 2014 following Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula and its aid for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

This comes as the NATO-led Resolute Support and US Forces Commander General John Nicholson had earlier said that the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan will honor the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ceasefire with the Taliban, announced by H.E. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, on June 7.

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'High readiness is essential in a more unpredictable world, ' Stoltenberg said.

He said it is too early to call the tariffs dispute a trade war.

But Trump's envoy to the alliance, Kay Bailey Hutchison, warned before the meeting that the spending issue would remain a sore point for the president.

Germany, which has been singled out by Trump for criticism, has also vowed to increase its defense budget by €3 billion over the next year, bringing total spending up to €41.5 billion.

Just over half the allies - 15 of them - have provided action plans laying out how they will close in on that benchmark by 2024.

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