Tag Archives: NATO

NATO plans for Russian 'aggression' on 70th anniversary

NATO plans for Russian 'aggression' on 70th anniversaryNATO said Thursday it was taking new action to counter Russia’s “aggression,” finding a united message amid other differences within the Western alliance on its 70th anniversary. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance approved new surveillance measures and naval exercises in the Black Sea to back Ukraine and Georgia, aspiring members of NATO that are facing Russian-backed separatist forces. Stoltenberg urged Russia to return three Ukrainian navy vessels and its sailors which it seized in November near Crimea — the peninsula that Moscow annexed in 2014, in a move not recognized internationally.



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Nato chief makes unprecedented pitch to US Congress on need for trans-Atlantic unity

Nato chief makes unprecedented pitch to US Congress on need for trans-Atlantic unityNato’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg made an unprecedented pitch to Congress for unity amid transatlantic tensions on Wednesday, as he marked 70 years since its founding charter was signed in Washington. Mr Stoltenberg gave a ringing defense of "the most successful alliance in history," which has often been derided by Donald Trump, the US president. He used the speech to underscore America’s "enduring support" for the historic alliance and downplayed disagreements with Mr Trump, saying: "Nato has been good for Europe, but Nato has also been good for the United States." He added: "We have to be frank. Questions are being asked on both sides of the Atlantic about the strength of our partnership. And, yes, there are differences. "The strength of Nato is that despite our differences, we have always been able to unite around our core task: to defend each other, protect each other, and to keep our people safe". Jens Stoltenberg addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill  Credit: Reuters Members of Congress, who greeted Mr Stoltenberg with repeated cheers and standing ovations, said they viewed his address as a chance to reaffirm the American commitment to the Nato alliance. His address to a joint session of Congress – a rare honour usually reserved for heads of state – is the first by a Nato chief. The invitation from Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House Speaker, and Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the Senate, has been seen as a rebuke of Mr Trump and his repeated bashing of the alliance. An invitation to meet with Mr Trump at the White House was later extended to Mr Stoltenberg. The Trump administration’s relationship with Nato has been fractious, with the president publicly pressuring other partners to pay their "fair share" in defence spending. During an on-camera meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday, Mr Stoltenberg appeared at times stony faced as Mr Trump criticised German defence spending and predicted the US would get along with Russia. However he acknowledged that Mr Trump’s demand appeared to be paying off, telling the president: "As you just mentioned, after years of cutting defense budgets, Nato allies have now started to invest more. And by the end of next year, they will have added $ 100 billion more into their defense budgets since you took office." Mr Trump has continued to criticise other allies' spending commitments Credit: Rex Mr Stoltenberg also used his speech Wednesday to warn of the threat "a more assertive Russia" posed to the alliance, including its violations of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. "Nato has no intention of deploying land-based nuclear missiles in Europe," Mr Stoltenberg said. "But Nato will always take the necessary steps to provide credible and effective deterrence." Mr Stoltenberg’s address is part of a two-day meeting in the US capital for foreign ministers from the 29-member alliance to mark its 70th anniversary. The celebrations are also intended to show a tough, united front on a resurgent Russia but Mr Trump’s rhetoric is not the only chord of disunity among the allies. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu insisted Wednesday that his country would push ahead with buying Russia’s S-400 missile defense system. "The S-400 deal is a done deal and we will not step back from this," he told a think-tank forum in Washington. Mr Cavusoglu went on to say that Turkey still backed Nato on core concerns with Russia and would never recognise Moscow’s 2014 takeover of Crimea from Ukraine. But he said Turkey turned to Russia as it could not buy US Patriot missiles and claimed Mr Trump had said in a phone call that his predecessor Barack Obama had made a "mistake" not to sell the system to Ankara. It was also announced this week that Nato is to fund a $ 260 million weapons store at an airbase in central Poland to ward off Kremlin aggression. Mr Stoltenberg said the weapons store, along with improved infrastructure will "underpin the increased US presence in Poland". Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.



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NATO chief warns of Russia threat, urges unity in U.S. address

NATO chief warns of Russia threat, urges unity in U.S. addressSaying “time is running out,” Stoltenberg also called on Russia to return to compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, from which U.S. President Donald Trump plans to withdraw the United States this summer. “NATO has no intention of deploying land-based nuclear missiles in Europe,” Stoltenberg said. “But NATO will always take the necessary steps to provide credible and effective deterrence.” In an interview later with Reuters, Stoltenberg did not elaborate on what those steps would be, saying NATO was looking into a wide range of options including arms control initiatives.



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Serbia, Kosovo mark start of NATO intervention 20 years ago

Serbia, Kosovo mark start of NATO intervention 20 years agoBELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Twenty years after NATO intervened to stop Serbia's onslaught in Kosovo, Belgrade on Sunday commemorated the victims of what it says was an aggression while Kosovo hailed the beginning of its national liberation.



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Two US soldiers killed in Afghanistan: NATO

Two US soldiers killed in Afghanistan: NATOTwo US service members were killed in Afghanistan Friday, NATO said, in the latest casualties to hit the international coalition amid ongoing peace talks between Washington and the Taliban. NATO’s Resolute Support mission would not immediately release any details about the soldiers but said they had been killed during an unspecified “operation” in the country. “In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the name of the service members killed in action are being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete,” said NATO.



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U.S. Appeal for NATO Personnel in Syria Brushed Off by Spain

U.S. Appeal for NATO Personnel in Syria Brushed Off by SpainVice President Mike Pence told reporters at the Munich Security Conference that the U.S. is asking NATO members and other partners to provide “the resources and the support and the personnel” required to prevent a resurgence of Islamic State once U.S. operations conclude. “Requests between countries aren’t made in press releases or conference comments,” Spain’s Josep Borrell said at a briefing in Munich on Saturday.



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NATO chief to meet Russia's Lavrov on missile pact crisis

NATO chief to meet Russia's Lavrov on missile pact crisisNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced Wednesday that he will hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov this week, as part of efforts to save a key arms control treaty that is on the point of collapse. The pair will meet at the Munich Security Conference, which starts on Friday, as NATO tries to persuade Moscow to abandon a new missile system the alliance says breaches the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The US began the process of exiting the treaty earlier this month in response to Moscow’s deployment of the 9M729 missile, prompting Russia to announce its own withdrawal.



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Nato members increase defence spending by $100 billion after Donald Trump called them 'delinquents'

Nato members increase defence spending by $  100 billion after Donald Trump called them 'delinquents'Nato states will increase their defence spending by 100 billion dollars in response to Donald Trump's demands that European allies shoulder a greater financial burden, the alliance's secretary general has said.   Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday that the alliance had heard Mr Trump's call for non-US members to shoulder a greater financial burden "loud and clear" and that allies are "stepping up." In conciliatory comments apparently designed to smooth over repeated public criticism of other alliance members by the US leader, Mr Stoltenberg said member states had agreed to add $ 100 billion to defence budgets over the next two years. Mr Trump has repeatedly complained that other members of Nato do not meet their spending commitments, including  a  blistering tirade at the NATO summit in Brussels  in July in which called other member governments "delinquent."  Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, just stated that because of me NATO has been able to raise far more money than ever before from its members after many years of decline. It’s called burden sharing. Also, more united. Dems & Fake News like to portray the opposite!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2019 He sent shockwaves through NATO last year when he questioned the alliance's value to the US. Last week the New York Times reported that he had multiple discussions with his top security advisers in 2018 about withdrawing. Speaking on Fox News, a channel favoured by the president, Mr Stoltenberg praised Mr Trump's tough line.   "President Trump has been very clear. He is committed to NATO… but at the same time he has clearly stated that NATO allies need to invest more," said the former Norwegian prime minister. "So we see some real money and real results, and we see that a clear message from President Trump is having an impact. NATO allies have heard the president loud and clear. NATO allies are stepping up." “What he’s doing is to help us adapt the alliance, which we need,” he added. "This is a clear message to Russia and I think they see that."  Member nations agreed in 2014 to spend two percent of their gross domestic products on defence by 2024. But only four of the alliance’s 29 countries have already met that target with just 15 expected to reach it by the deadline. Later on Sunday Mr Trump welcomed the praise, taking credit for the pledge of additional funding. He tweeted: "Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, just stated that because of me NATO has been able to raise far more money than ever before from its members after many years of decline. It’s called burden sharing. Also, more united. Dems & Fake News like to portray the opposite!" Mr Trump's public doubts about the utility of the Nato alliance have alarmed European allies concerned about a repeat of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and invasion of east Ukraine.



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Trump Says His Pressure for NATO Spending Boost Is Paying Off

Trump Says His Pressure for NATO Spending Boost Is Paying OffTrump commented on Twitter within minutes after Jens Stoltenberg, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s secretary-general, said on Fox News Sunday that NATO allies will add $ 100 billion in military outlays by the end of next year. “We see that the clear message from President Trump is having an impact,” Stoltenberg said. “NATO allies have heard the president loud and clear and now NATO allies are stepping up.



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NATO chief says Trump's funding gripes having 'real results'

NATO chief says Trump's funding gripes having 'real results'NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday that US President Donald Trump’s regular complaints about the alliance had not undermined it — adding that his criticism on defense spending was having a positive impact. Trump has frequently blasted members of the 29-nation western security partnership for not paying more into their national defense budgets. Before taking office, he called NATO “obsolete” and recent media reports said he spoke to senior officials last year about pulling out.



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