Brussels, Jun 28 (EFE).- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that the defense alliance would “step up support” for Ukraine.
“Spoke with President Zelenskyy on Russia’s war of aggression. At our NATOSummit we will step up support for our close partner Ukraine, now & for the longer term,” the NATO chief tweeted.
“NATO Allies stand with you,” he added ahead of the group’s summit in Madrid that kicks off Tuesday and concludes Thursday.
During the summit, the defense alliance will unveil its most significant shift in policy since the Cold War to counter the threat posed by Russia.
At a press conference in Brussels Monday, Stoltenberg said the summit would be “transformative” and would see “many important decisions” taken, including a “new strategic concept for a new security reality” in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The concept represents a “fundamental shift in NATO’s deterrence and defense” as well as guaranteeing “support to Ukraine now and for the future,” he said.
Stoltenberg added the defense alliance would increase troop numbers for its rapid response forces to more than 300,000.
The NATO Response Force (NRF), currently comprising 40,000 troops, is a highly advanced force made up of air, land, sea and special forces units “able to react in a very short time to the full range of security challenges,” according to the group.
Stoltenberg also said the alliance would strengthen its “forward defenses and enhance battlegroups in the eastern part of the alliance” to counter Russia’s threatening foreign policy.
He also spoke of boosting “our ability to reinforce in crisis and conflict, including with more prepositioned equipment and stockpiles of military supplies, more forward-deployed capabilities, strengthen command and control, and upgrade defense plans with forces pre-assigned to defend specific allies.”
The secretary-general added that the summit would also address Sweden and Finland’s application to join the alliance. EFE