NATO adopted new concept of military planning


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced Wednesday that he will visit Türkiye on Thursday to confirm the alliance’s support after the devastating earthquake that hit that country and to call for the ratification of Sweden and Finland’s accession to the NATO organization.

“I’ll visit Türkiye on Thursday to confirm NATO’s solidarity during my talks with President Erdogan,” he said during a press conference in Brussels at the end of a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

Stoltenberg said he would also address the issue of Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO.

“I’ll ask them to ratify the two accession protocols at the same time, but Türkiye will decide whether it wants to ratify the two protocols or one of them,” Stoltenberg said.

Early February, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced for the first time that the Turkish parliament might ratify Finland’s membership without approving Sweden’s request, which was submitted at the same time, and which Ankara is obstructing.

Thirty countries have signed accession protocols and 28 have ratified them.

Only Türkiye and Hungary have not yet ratified the agreement.

“The main question is not whether Finland and Sweden will be ratified together, but whether they will be ratified at the earliest opportunity,” Stoltenberg said on Tuesday.

Stoltenberg stressed on Wednesday that “the most important thing is that Finland and Sweden will soon become members of the alliance, and I’ll apply pressure to achieve this”.

He also announced that the defense ministers of the member states agreed at their meeting in Brussels, Wednesday, a new concept of military planning for the alliance, which takes into account the threats from China.

Stoltenberg said in a press conference held after the meeting: “The allies agreed on a new concept of defense planning for NATO… This reflects a new reality that we live in a more dangerous world marked by the aggressive behavior of Russia and the threat of terrorism and challenges from China”.

Stoltenberg indicated that NATO will work to enhance the protection of underwater infrastructure after the sabotage operations that targeted the Nord Stream oil pipeline in the Baltic Sea, and said that a coordination center will be established at NATO headquarters to protect the underwater infrastructure.

With regard to the issue of Finland and Sweden joining NATO, Stoltenberg said that they should obtain membership by next fall, considering that they have fulfilled all the conditions of Türkiye.

He pointed out that among the 30 member states of the alliance, only Türkiye and Hungary didn’t agree to the accession of Finland and Sweden, adding: “I am actively working for the approval of a request for both countries at the same time”.

According to Stoltenberg, NATO defense ministers also agreed to expand military aid to Georgia and Moldova, in addition to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which he described as vulnerable partners.

He stated that NATO countries began to increase the production of 155 mm artillery shells for Ukraine as a priority, and the defense ministers agreed to work intensively with the military-industrial complex to increase ammunition production.

Stoltenberg said that the decision on a new increase in NATO’s military spending will be taken at the Vilnius Summit next July, stressing that NATO countries must consider the 2% indicator of GDP as a minimum for their military spending, and not as a maximum, as is the case so far.

Share it...

Leave a Reply