NATO plans comprehensive armed forces to defend its borders, says the Secretary General

NATO is reportedly planning to deploy a standing force to defend its member states’ borders against Russia.

Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance’s secretary-general, said the move was an example of “the long-term consequences” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In conversation with the Sunday Telegraphhe revealed that the NATO security alliance could increase its military presence in countries like Estonia and Latvia.

Prior to Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, NATO’s current presence on its eastern flank famously served as a reduced “tripwire” to any Russian aggression.

Mr. Stoltenberg pointed out that NATO is stationing 40,000 troops on its eastern borders, a number nearly 10 times pre-invasion numbers.

He added: “What we are seeing now is a new reality, a new normal for European security. That’s why we’ve now asked our military commanders to provide options for what we call a reset, a longer-term adjustment of NATO.

The reset must be accompanied by increased defense spending by partner countries, Mr Stoltenberg said

(AFP via Getty Images)

“I expect NATO leaders to make decisions on this when they meet at the NATO summit in Madrid in June.”

He described the “reset” as “moving from tripwire deterrence to something more about denial deterrence or defense deterrence.”

Mr Stoltenberg added: “This is already in progress. We must ensure that we can protect and defend all NATO allies even in a more dangerous world.”

Last month Britain pledged to double its troops in Eastern Europe and send a new deployment to Bulgaria.

In the interview, Mr Stoltenberg urged other countries to emulate Britain’s support for Ukraine.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.

On Saturday, Mr Johnson paid a secretly planned visit to the Ukrainian capital to discuss with Mr Zelensky the UK’s plans to offer Ukraine more military aid, including anti-ship missiles and 120 armored vehicles. On Friday, the UK announced £100million in additional equipment, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.

Mr Johnson said: “Ukraine has defied the odds and pushed back Russian forces at the gates of Kiev in the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century.”

In a joint TV appearance with Mr. Zelensky, he said: “I think that the Ukrainians showed the courage of a lion, and you gave Volodymyr the roar of that lion.

“Having only been here in Kyiv for a few hours, I have no doubts that an independent, sovereign Ukraine will rise again, thanks largely to the heroism and courage of the people of Ukraine.”

In a video address, Mr Zelensky said Mr Johnson made history with pledges to provide more military and financial support to Ukraine.

In his speech he said: “The UK leadership will forever be remembered in history for providing our country with the necessary support, particularly defense, as well as leadership in sanctions policy.”

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