NATO Chief Urges Closer Work with EU to Address Security Challenges
NATO must cooperate more closely with partners and organisations like the EU to better address the security challenges east and south of its borders, the Alliance’s chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.
“The challenges we all face demand a comprehensive response, so all of us need to work even closer together,” Stoltenberg said at the end of a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Antalya, Turkey.
"To the east, a more assertive Russia has used force to change borders and intimidate neighbours," he said. "To the south, violent extremism had reached a level unprecedented in modern times," referring to Islamic State organisation.
The EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who attended the two-day meeting, said that NATO and the EU are facing challenges that unite them.
“We are different in nature but we share values," she said.
The foreign ministers discussed how NATO and the EU could better cooperate in countering hybrid warfare threats, which combine conventional attacks with subversion, cyber attacks, deception and disinformation. The West has accused Russia of carrying out hybrid warfare in eastern Ukraine.
“Both Federica Mogherini and I have decided to task our teams to intensify NATO-EU cooperation in countering hybrid warfare,” Stoltenberg said.
“We will ensure that the strategies we are developing are complimentary, so that we can work together quickly and effectively in case of a hybrid threat against our members,” he added.
According to Stoltenberg, NATO must continue to adapt to ensure that it is ready for any challenge. He stressed that the Alliance is already implementing the biggest reinforcement of its collective security since the end of the Cold War, including by boosting the size and speed of the NATO Response Force with a high readiness Spearhead Force at its core.
Mogherini also briefed NATO foreign ministers meeting on her plans for an EU operation to destroy boats used to smuggle thousands of migrants from Libya to Europe.
Stoltenberg said: "If the EU presents requests to NATO, of course then we will seriously consider them and assess them, but so far there has been no request from the EU to NATO for any specific asistance."
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