Stoltenberg: NATO planning large, permanent military presence on eastern border
NATO military commanders are working on plans to transform the alliance’s presence on its eastern borders to a force capable of taking on an invading army, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the Telegraph in an interview.
Stoltenberg described the alliance’s presence on its eastern borders thus far as a relatively small “tripwire” force intended to symbolize the alliance’s commitment to defend itself from any Russian attack.
Russia’s war against Ukraine will change that.
“Regardless of when, how, the war in Ukraine ends, the war has already had long-term consequences for our security. NATO needs to adapt to that new reality. And that’s exactly what we are doing,” Stoltenberg said.
“NATO is the most successful alliance in history for two reasons. One is that we have been able to unite Europe and North America. The other is that we have been able to change when the world is changing. Now the world is changing, and NATO is changing.”
Stoltenberg backed Ukraine’s calls on Western allies such as Germany to drop the distinction between defensive and offensive weapons with some members. Berlin has ruled out the provision of offensive weaponry to Kyiv.
“Ukraine is now defending itself against an invasion. So everything Ukraine does is defensive,” Stoltenberg said.