Brussels (Times Of Ocean)- NATO has announced Thursday that it is accelerating its transformation for a “more dangerous strategic reality.”
NATO allies claim that Russia’s war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and caused enormous suffering and destruction.
NATO issued a joint statement following the Extraordinary Summit of NATO Heads of State and Government in Brussels, Belgium.
“Russia’s war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and is causing enormous human suffering and destruction,” it said.
In the statement, Russia’s war on Ukraine was strongly condemned.
“We call on (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin to immediately stop this war and withdraw military forces from Ukraine, and call on Belarus to end its complicity, in line with the Aggression Against Ukraine Resolution adopted at the UN General Assembly of 2 March 2022,” it said.
It said Russia must comply with the March 16 ruling by the International Court of Justice and immediately cease military operations, stressing that Russia’s war on Ukraine threatens global security and its attacks on international norms make the world less secure.
It noted that “President Putin’s escalatory rhetoric is irresponsible and destabilizing.”
Ukrainians inspired the world with their resistance to Russia’s war, according to the statement.
“We strongly condemn Russia’s devastating attacks on civilians, including women, children and persons in vulnerable situations. We will work with the rest of the international community to hold accountable those responsible for violations of humanitarian and international law, including war crimes.”
Call for humanitarian aid
The statement urged Russia to allow humanitarian access and safe passage for civilians and to deliver humanitarian aid to Mariupol and other besieged cities as it is deeply concerned about the increased risk of sexual violence and human trafficking.
The convention also condemned attacks that endanger civilian infrastructure, including nuclear power plants.
“We will continue to counter Russia’s lies about its attack on Ukraine and expose fabricated narratives or manufactured ‘false flag’ operations to prepare the ground for further escalation, including against the civilian population of Ukraine. Any use by Russia of a chemical or biological weapon would be unacceptable and result in severe consequences.”
Russia needs to show it is serious about negotiations by immediately implementing a cease-fire, and expressing support for Ukraine’s peace efforts and the diplomatic efforts being undertaken by allies to exert pressure on Russia to end the war and alleviate suffering.
Ukraine has a fundamental right to self-defense under the UN Charter, and NATO has provided Ukraine with extensive support since 2014 to allow Ukraine to exercise that right.
“We reaffirm our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders extending to its territorial waters,” it said.
NATO has stated that it will continue to provide Ukraine with political and practical support.
“NATO Allies will also continue to provide assistance in such areas as cybersecurity and protection against threats of a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear nature.”
The report noted that NATO foreign ministers will discuss further support for Ukraine when they meet next month, highlighting their common resolve to counter Russian attempts to undermine international security and stability.
“Massive sanctions and heavy political costs have been imposed on Russia in order to bring an end to this war. We remain determined to maintain coordinated international pressure on Russia,” it said.
Call for China
China was also urged to refrain from any action that would help Russia circumvent sanctions and refrain from supporting Russia’s war effort in any manner.
The statement said NATO is concerned by recent public statements from Chinese officials urging Beijing to promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“We reaffirm our commitment to NATO’s Open Door Policy under Article 10 of the Washington Treaty,” it said.
Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia
Russia’s actions have prompted NATO to activate its defense plans, deploy the NATO Response Force and place 40,000 troops on its eastern flank, along with significant air and naval assets, under direct NATO command supported by allied national deployments, it said.
The alliance added that four additional multinational battlegroups would be established in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.
“We will now accelerate NATO’s transformation for a more dangerous strategic reality, including through the adoption of the next Strategic Concept in Madrid. In light of the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades, we will also significantly strengthen our longer term deterrence and defense posture and will further develop the full range of ready forces and capabilities necessary to maintain credible deterrence and defense.”
NATO’s statement also added: “We are increasing the resilience of our societies and our infrastructure to counter Russia’s malign influence. We are enhancing our cyber capabilities and defenses and providing support to each other in the event of cyberattacks.”
As a result of this meeting in Madrid, NATO’s readiness and preparation for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threat will be enhanced, and further decisions will be taken.
The war between Russia and Ukraine represents an attack on the values and norms that have brought security and prosperity to Europe, the report said.
“President Putin’s choice to attack Ukraine is a strategic mistake, with grave consequences also for Russia and the Russian people. We remain united and resolute in our determination to oppose Russia’s aggression, aid the government and the people of Ukraine, and defend the security of all Allies.”