NATO defence ministers met on Wednesday (16 March 2022) to address the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including Allies’ support for Ukraine and measures to strengthen NATO’s collective defence for longer-term security.
Ministers were first joined by NATO partners Finland, Sweden, Georgia and the European Union, and received a briefing from Ukrainian defence minister Oleksii Reznikov on the situation in Ukraine. “We all paid tribute to the courage of the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian armed forces,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Ministers agreed that NATO’s support to Ukraine must continue, including with military supplies, financial help and humanitarian aid. “NATO is responding to this crisis with speed and unity,” said the Secretary General, adding that NATO leaders will meet next week for an extraordinary NATO Summit.
Ministers also addressed measures to reinforce NATO’s collective security for the longer term. “We must reset our collective defence and deterrence for the longer term; today we tasked our military commanders to develop options across all domains,” said Stoltenberg.
He noted that this could include substantially more forces in the eastern part of the Alliance, more Allied air power and significant numbers of combat ships.
The Secretary General stressed that such major increases to NATO’s collective deterrence and defence would require major investments. He welcomed Allied announcements on more investments and reiterated that Allies need to invest a minimum of 2% of GDP on defence.