NATO ministers decide to strengthen security and defence

NATO Defence Ministers decided on Thursday further steps to strengthen security and boost defence and deterrence against threats from any direction, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

“We are adapting the NATO Command Structure, the military backbone of our Alliance.

Today, ministers agreed to strengthen the new command structure by more than 1,200 personnel,” he told a press conference after the end of the first day of a two-day ministerial meeting this evening.

The ministers also agreed that NATO’s Joint Force Command for the Atlantic will be based at Norfolk, Virginia in the United States and new Enabling Command will be based in Ulm in Germany.

They also agreed on increasing the readiness of NATO forces.

“Today, Allies committed, by 2020, to having 30 mechanized battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 combat vessels, ready to use within 30 days or less,” said the NATO chief.

He said all NATO states have stopped the defenses cuts and are increasing defence spending.

“Across European Allies and Canada, we expect a real increase this year of 3.8 percent.

This means that, since 2014, European Allies and Canada will have spent additionally 87 billion dollars on defence,” said Stoltenberg.

The ministers also decided to set up a Cyber Operations Centre, as part of the new Command Structure.

“The decisions we have taken today pave the way for a successful Summit in July, with more investment, more equitable burden sharing and a strengthened defence posture,

Source: Kuwait News Agency