NATO members must increase defense spending and draw new defense plans after crisis in Ukraine 04081

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Defence & Security News - NATO

 
 
Monday, August 4, 2014 09:10 AM
 
NATO members must increase defense spending and draw new defense plans after crisis in Ukraine
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in an interview published Sunday, August 3, that the alliance would draw up new defense plans in the face of "Russia's aggression" against Ukraine, urging members to up their military spending.
     
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in an interview published Sunday, August 3, that the alliance would draw up new defense plans in the face of "Russia's aggression" against Ukraine, urging members to up their military spending.
"I will encourage NATO countries to increase their defence investments. Over the past five years, Russia has increased its spending on defence by 50 percent, and NATO countries have reduced theirs by an average of 20 percent," said NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
     
Echoing comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron, Rasmussen told French regional newspaper Midi Libre that "Russia's aggression was a warning and created a new security situation in Europe."

"We will strengthen military exercises and prepare new defense plans," he said.

"I will encourage NATO countries to increase their defense investments. Over the past 5 years, Russia has increased its spending on defense by 50%, and NATO countries have reduced theirs by an average of 20%," he added.

NATO has already rallied to reassure its Eastern European Allies, with 16 member states due to take part in a U.S.-led military training exercise in Poland next month. The U.K. has also provided fighter jets to help police the skies over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and has committed to sending 1,350 military personnel and more than 350 armored vehicles to take part in another NATO exercise in Poland in October.

The Defence Committee also called for improvements to NATO's rapid-reaction force and the processes for warning of an imminent attack, and the possible establishment of a new standing reserve force.

Russian meddling in Ukraine has shown that NATO needs a more responsive quick-reaction force that could be deployed in the event Moscow made aggressive military threats against a NATO nation, the alliance's No. 2 general said.

Ukraine is not a NATO member but has a partnership arrangement, as does Russia. So the U.S. and other alliance members would be under no treaty obligation to defend Ukraine if it were invaded by Russia. Still, the U.S. and other countries are keeping a close eye on the capabilities of Russian forces along the Ukrainian border and have repeatedly called on Moscow to move its forces away from the border.

 

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