NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discussed the impact of the Ukraine crisis on the Alliance’s collective security with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) Gen. Philip Breedlove at Allied Command Operations headquarters in Mons, Belgium on Monday (4 August 2014). The Secretary General said that NATO “stands determined” to defend all Allies against any threat. “We are at a crucial point in history: as we remember the devastation of World War One, our peace and security are once again being tested, now by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. And the criminal downing of Flight MH17 has made clear that a conflict in one part of Europe can have tragic consequences around the world,” he said.
Mr. Fogh Rasmussen and Prime Minister Cameron were briefed by Gen. Breedlove on his assessment of recent events in Ukraine. NATO has already taken immediate measures to strengthen its collective defence in the air, at sea and on land in light of the Russia’s actions in and around Ukraine. The meeting is in preparation for the Wales Summit on September 4-5.
The Secretary General said that the Summit will be a turning point for the Alliance. “We will adopt an action plan to boost our readiness in a changed world. We are looking closely at the forces we need, where they should be deployed, how fast they should be able to respond and how to reinforce them,” he said. He said that defence plans are also under review, a new exercise schedule is being developed, and Allies are considering ways to strengthen the NATO Response Force (NRF) so that the Alliance “can respond quickly to any challenge, old or new.” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen stressed that “these are ambitious plans and we need the resources to match. At the Summit, I look to a strong commitment from Allies to invest more in defence as our economies recover.”