The Heads of State and Government of the Atlantic Alliance They plan to agree this Thursday on the deployment of four new multinational battalions in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republicwhich will be added to the four already deployed in the three Baltic republics and Poland. A decision that the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has framed the allied reinforcement on the eastern flank in response to the threat from Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. During an appearance prior to the extraordinary summit of leaders that takes place this Thursday, the Norwegian politician has also confirmed that he hopes that the 30 allies agree to supply additional material to kyiv in the face of a possible attack with chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and has urged Moscow to stop bullying with its nuclear rhetoric.
“It is dangerous and irresponsible,” he warned. “Any use of nuclear weapons would fundamentally change the nature of the conflict and Russia must understand that a nuclear war must never be waged and that they can never win a nuclear war. With his nuclear rhetoric he is contradicting what they have declared in the UN and in other formats”, warned the Norwegian, recalling that the Alliance has plans to protect allies against any threat. “There should be no doubt about our preparation to react to any attack”, he said on the eve of an extraordinary meeting.
The meeting will be attended by the US president, Joe Biden, and in it they will offer “additional support” to kyiv, including cybersecurity assistance as well as “equipment to help Ukraine protect itself against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.” Although he did not want to give details about the specific type of support, Stoltenberg has admitted that the Atlantic Alliance is concerned about the possibility that the regime of Vladimir Putin use chemical and biological weapons with Ukraine.
“There is not only nuclear rhetoric but also false claims that Ukraine, supported by NATO allies, is producing and preparing to use chemical weapons. This is an absolutely false accusation, but it may be a way of trying to create a pretext for the use of chemical weapons,” he said, recalling that Russia has already used chemical agents against its own opposition in the past and supported the Assad regime in Syria. It is also a threat that could also have consequences in allied countries. “Any use of chemical weapons can have direct consequences for the NATO countries, because the contamination or spread of the agents can have direct consequences for the population of the allies,” she recalled.
Message to Beijing
The head of NATO has also urged Putin to stop the war, Belarus to stop being an accomplice in the invasion and China not provide military support to Moscow. “Beijing has joined Moscow in questioning the right of independent nations to choose their own path. It has provided Russia with political support, including by spreading blatant lies and disinformation. And the allies are concerned that China may provide material support to the Russian invasion”, admitted the secretary general, who hopes that the leaders will ask the Chinese government to fulfill its responsibilities as a member of the UN Security Council, to refrain from support Russia’s war effort and join the rest of the world in calling for an immediate and peaceful end to this war.” During the meeting, which will precede a meeting at the headquarters of the G7 Alliance and a European Council, they will also connect by videoconference with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Beyond approving the short-term deployment of another four battalions – there are 100,000 US troops already deployed in Europe and 40,000 under NATO command – the Alliance leaders will continue their debate on the long-term security reinforcement that will culminate on the summit of leaders to be held in Madrid In the month of June. “We are facing a new reality for our security so we must readjust our long-term deterrence and defense,” she explained. An adjustment that will require “large investments” in defense, for which he hopes that the allies “will agree to redouble their efforts to invest more. There is a new sense of urgency because we cannot take peace for granted”, he warned.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.