NATO ministers to discuss challenges to the east and south

img¬†Defence ministers of the 28-member NATO will hold a formal one-day meeting in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the challenges the Alliance faces to the east and to the south, and their impact on NATO’s defence plan, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu told a news conference this evening.
She noted that this is the first opportunity since the Wales Summit last September for Defence ministers to look at the progress that was being made but also to look forward to the Warsaw Summit, which be taking place in 2016.
In particular the focus will be on NATO’S Readiness Action Plan which aims to improve military capabilities to help NATO speed up its reaction time to any threat.
The day will start with a meeting of NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group. “It is a regular meeting that the ministers have practically every year. The focus is on the continued safety, security and effectiveness of NATO’s nuclear deterrent,” said the spokeperson, Meanwhile, one senior NATO official told journalists that the situation in the east, meaning Ukraine, is deteriorating and is not expected to get better, while in the south, meaning in Iraq and Syria, the instability is growing due to the activities of ISIL.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the ministers will discuss 12 adapatation measures designed to enhance NATO’s readiness to respond to the increasing military threats in the east and the growing risks to the south.
The ministers will take key decision to set NATO’s interim spearhead force which would be able to deploy at very short notice, particularly at the periphery of NATO’s territory.
The official said details of the size and component of this force have not been finalized as yet but in theory they could also be deployed in the Middle East if needed.
“The allies are watching with alarm the deteriorating situation in Ukraine. NATO will have enhanced presence in Ukraine with advisors,” he noted.

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