NATO is ready to rise to every challenge, its Secretary General said ahead of the alliance’s summit in Wales on Thursday and Friday (September 4-5).
Anders Fogh Rasmussen said an action plan would be agreed to make NATO more responsive to what he called Russia’s ‘aggressive behaviour’ in Ukraine, and all other security challenges.
“We will now significantly enhance the responsiveness of our NATO response force,” he said. “We will develop what I would call a spearhead within our response force, a very high readiness force able to deploy at very short notice.”
He said he will meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the summit to express NATO’s support for the nation and take concrete steps to help.
Ukraine’s political leaders, Rasmussen said, expected the Ukrainian parliament to abandon the country’s non-aligned status after the planned October 26 election.
This is a possible precursor for an application to join NATO:
“I understand that the current political leadership in Kyiv envisages that the new parliament after the parliamentary election in Ukraine will change the legislation on non-alliance status,” the Secretary General told a Brussels news conference.
Rasmussen added that, at the Wales summit, he ‘expects a commitment to increase defence investments’ as economies recover, pointing out that member states would then share the responsibility as well as the benefits of collective defence.
NATO Secretary General Pre-Summit Press Conference
An animation of how NATO’s collective defence system works