NATO meeting in Brussels: “More capabilities, not more structures”

Status: 10/22/2021 5:40 p.m.

NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg would like better cooperation with the EU. After a ministerial meeting, he called for a uniform security concept. The desire for more independence had come from the EU.

The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has called on the EU states to cooperate more closely with the military alliance. At the end of a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers, Stoltenberg said: “We have to ensure that our security concept remains uniform.” Most recently, numerous EU states, including France and Germany, spoke out in favor of strengthening European military capabilities.

The background to this was the increasing unilateral action by the USA, for example in Afghanistan and the Pacific, in the decision of which the EU partners were not involved. Stoltenberg stated that NATO’s cooperation with the EU had reached an unprecedented level. He welcomed the increased military ambitions of the EU states, but these should not duplicate NATO structures. “We need more capabilities, not more structures,” affirmed the NATO Secretary General.

NATO defense ministers discuss how to deal with Russia

Michael Grytz, ARD Brussels, daily news 8:00 p.m., 10/22/2021

“No European competition with NATO”

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in Brussels that the US would support a “stronger and more capable European defense” if it “makes a positive contribution to transatlantic and global security and is compatible with NATO”. One reason for the growing desire for more military independence in the EU was the chaotic withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan, driven by the USA.

Federal Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said that a paper submitted by Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland and the Netherlands with suggestions for improving structures and processes had met with a positive response. However, it is not about European competition with NATO.

Joint billion fund agreed

NATO members also agreed to use a fund to invest up to one billion euros in defense technologies by the middle of next year. Secretary General Stoltenberg said: “The new Innovation Fund will ensure that the Allies do not miss out on the latest technologies and capabilities that will be vital to our security,” said Stoltenberg.

As examples of such technology, NATO named robot systems, self-flying aircraft and hypersonic propulsion systems, which are also being developed by China and Russia.

NATO wants to be prepared for attack scenarios

The NATO defense ministers announced on Thursday that they had agreed on a joint “master plan” to serve as a deterrent to Russia. The ministers stressed that attacks by Russia cannot be assumed. Nevertheless, the alliance wants to be prepared for possible threats from the Russian side in the Baltic and Black Sea regions.

From Russia came sharp criticism of NATO’s “confrontational course”, as President Dmitry Peskov put it. “This alliance was not created for peace, it was conceived, designed and created for confrontation,” he criticized, emphasizing that under these conditions there was “no need for a dialogue” with NATO.

New tensions between NATO and Moscow

Relations between the Defense Alliance and the Russian government had recently deteriorated again. At the beginning of the month, NATO withdrew their accreditation from eight Russian diplomats because, as members of the Russian mission to NATO, they were also said to have worked for the secret service. As a result, Russia announced that it would cease the work of its own permanent mission to NATO in Brussels from November 1st.

Russia sees new NATO strategy as evidence of a course of confrontation

Stephan Laack, ARD Moscow, 10/22/2021 6:06 p.m.

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