The NATO-Russia Council, which brings together all 29 NATO Allies and Russia, met in Brussels on Friday July 5 to discuss Ukraine, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and transparency and risk reduction. This was the second meeting of the NATO-Russia Council this year. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the meeting, said: “Our discussion was frank but necessary. Allies and Russia hold fundamentally different views but we are committed to continuing our dialogue.”
“Outcome of the Russia–NATO Council meeting: It is the choice and decision of the American side, which has refused the concrete and realistic measures of mutual transparency that we had proposed to alleviate concerns that have piled up” Russian mission to NATO wrote in Twitter micro blog after the meeting. The detailed comments have been published on the Facebook page of the mission:
“The NRC meeting on July 5 focused on the security situation in Europe in the context of US announced withdrawal from the INF Treaty on August 2. The Russian Side indicated that attempts to shift the blame on Russia for the demise of the INF were unjustified. It is the choice and decision of the American side, which has refused the concrete and realistic measures of mutual transparency that we had proposed to alleviate concerns that have piled up. We drew the attention to real risks of further aggravating military and political situation in Europe. The Russian Side noted the need to exercise restraint. We confirmed that in our planning of the steps to ensure the interests of Russia’s military security in the context of the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty we are not intended to deploy corresponding missile systems in Europe and other regions unless the US intermediate- and shorter-range missiles are deployed there. We called on NATO countries to make the same statement”.
Russia’s Baltic Fleet is monitoring the joint exercises of NATO Baltops-2019, Russia’s National Defense Control Center (NDCC) informed press on June 15.
“In order to identify the threats to navigational safety of civilian vessels, related to the use of radio-electronic warfare means by NATO ships, the corresponding units of the Baltic Fleet are monitoring the radio-electronic situation in the area of the drills,” the message by the NDCC informed.
According to the center, participants of the NATO drills in the southern part of the Baltic Sea are practicing radio-suppression of location and navigation systems.
North Macedonia is likely to gain the European Union support to start membership talks later this year, according to the EU diplomats.
“North Macedonia has a good chance, given the historic resolution of its name issue,” the diplomatic source confirmed.
The name change from Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to Republic of North Macedonia has offered Skopje momentum and is highly likely to persuade Paris, Berlin and The Hague to back EU talks.
Image above: Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, receive Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of North Macedonia.
The NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, will meet the incumbent President of Ukraine, H.E. Mr. Petro Poroshenko, at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.”There will be no media opportunity” the spokesperson informs via Twitter micro blog.
At present, leading areas of cooperation focus on counter-terrorism, defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents, the development of advanced technologies, and the detection and clearance of unexploded ordnance and mines.
Furthermore, in the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Platform on Countering Hybrid Warfare, the SPS Programme assists a joint initiative from Ukraine and Lithuania to develop an early warning system to counter hybrid threats. An event will take place in Vilnius in April 2019 to make recommendations and provide a way ahead.
Over 33 activities with Ukraine are ongoing, which makes the country the biggest beneficiary of NATO’s SPS Programme.
“One of the current flagship projects is called ‘Dexter,”said Dr Deniz Yüksel-Beten, Senior SPS and Partnerships Cooperation Advisor at NATO. “It aims to develop a system to detect explosives and firearms in public spaces, remotely and in real time, without disrupting the flow of passengers,” she added.
Through another project, Ukrainian and Italian scientists are developing a new type of crystal sensors to detect CBRN agents, which can be used to support counter-terrorism measures.
NATO Allies agreed on March 28, 2019 to extend the mandate of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (60) by a further two years, until 30 September 2022.
Jens Stoltenberg, Norwegian politician, who served twice as Prime minister. During his mandates the defence spending increased substantially, resulting in Norway becoming one of the highest per capita defence contributors among allies of NATO. He has been enhancing modernisation of the Norwegian armed forces, and conducted policies contributing troops to various NATO operations.
The face of war is changing dramatically as cyber and electronic attacks become increasingly commonplace, and so must our allies’ understanding of defense.
Of NATO 28’s member states, only five meet the goal – German defense spending is just 1,2% of GDP. President Trump has a point: NATO’s economics are clearly not working out, and this is undermining the alliance. But the crucial adjustment that is needed is not the amount of spending, but what it seeks to fund.