Russia, Stoltenberg: “Threat to NATO security”

The secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance: “We will increase response forces up to 300 thousand units”

Russia represents “a security threat” of NATO. This is what the secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels. Certainly the “most significant and direct” threat he reiterates, anticipating how it will be defined in the new NATO strategic concept that will be approved at the summit on Wednesday and Thursday in Madrid. “I am confident that Vladimir Putin understands the consequences of attacking a NATO country, it would provoke the response of the whole Alliance: we are concerned about the increase in Russian military capabilities in Kaliningrad”. said the NATO secretary general, speaking of the situation in the Russian exclave and the tensions with Lithuania.

STRENGTHENING NATO – At the Madrid summit on Wednesday and Thursday “we will strengthen our battalions” on the east flank, bringing them “to brigade level and transform the NATO Response Force, increasing the number” of units, up to “over 300 thousand”, while at currently has 40,000 men. “we are very close to the goal” of defense spending of 2% of GDP to be reached by 2024, Stoltenberg stresses. The number one of the Atlantic Alliance reported that “nine allies have reached or exceeded the 2% target, 19 have clear plans to achieve it by 2024, while another five have made concrete commitments to achieve it later”.

CHINA – As for China, Stoltenberg underlines again in relation to the new strategic concept of the Alliance, “it poses a challenge to our interests, security and values”.

SWEDEN AND FINLAND – “I cannot make promises, but we are actively working to make progress” on the question of Sweden and Finland joining NATO and “I am happy” that the leaders of the two countries and the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan “have accepted my invitation “for a meeting in Madrid tomorrow, on the eve of the Madrid summit. “We are working hard for a solution as soon as possible,” he explains.