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The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is strengthening its land, sea and air forces across Eastern Europe.
The EU is set to impose the 'strongest, harshest package' of sanctions ever implemented on Russia, and a number of allies have already revealed plans to deploy troops in support of NATO members in the vicinity of Ukraine.
While it stated this morning, February 24, that it would not launch any military action in support of the country, political and military defensive alliance NATO announced it had 'increased the readiness of [its] forces to respond to all contingencies' and plans to strengthen its deployments in eastern Europe.
I strongly condemn #Russia’s reckless attack on #Ukraine, which puts at risk countless civilian lives. This is a grave breach of international law & a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security. #NATO Allies will meet to address Russia’s renewed aggression. https://t.co/FPpyuzmUXD— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) February 24, 2022
Calling Russia's attack on Ukraine, 'horrifying' and 'entirely unjustified and unprovoked,' NATO said that it's 'thoughts are with those killed and injured, and with the people of Ukraine'.
'We stand with the people of Ukraine and its legitimate, democratically elected president, parliament and government. We will always maintain our full support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders, including its territorial waters.
'NATO will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the security and defence of all Allies. We are deploying additional defensive land and air forces to the eastern part of the Alliance, as well as additional maritime assets. We have increased the readiness of our forces to respond to all contingencies.'
Timely meeting with MFA @RauZbigniew of our valued #NATO Ally #Poland to address the consequences of #Russia’s recognition of #Ukraine’s Donetsk/Luhansk. This is a deliberate breach of international law & the Minsk agreements, which will dramatically fuel tensions in Europe. pic.twitter.com/WMsKCZAYRj— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) February 22, 2022
Calling on Russia to 'immediately cease its military action and withdraw all its forces from in and around Ukraine' NATO warned that Russia 'will pay a very heavy economic and political price' and that alliance 'will continue to coordinate closely with relevant stakeholders and other international organisations including the EU.'
On January 24, Denmark, Spain, France, the Netherlands and the US expressed their plans to ramp up their support and military involvement in support of Ukraine, per NATO's earlier statement.
France, Spain, the UK and the US are just four of 30 different countries who are members of NATO.
The organisation is both a political and military alliance that seeks to 'prevent conflict' and is 'committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes'. 'If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations,' its website states.
Always a pleasure to see @Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz. #Germany is a staunch #NATO Ally at the heart of Europe. I thanked him for his diplomatic efforts in the crisis caused by #Russia & for the strong contributions to our collective defence. pic.twitter.com/DysLXsc2nf— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) February 19, 2022
Prior to 2014, there were no NATO forces in the the eastern part of the alliance.
However, after illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, NATO's presence was increased, including within Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
If one ally of NATO is attacked, then it is deemed as being seen 'as an attack on the whole Alliance'.
🔴 LIVE at +- 12:00 CET— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) February 24, 2022
🎙️Press briefing after extraordinary meeting of the North Atlantic Council on #Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on #Ukraine.
📍 @NATO HQ, Brussels https://t.co/toYTx6ecME
There are more than 100 air jets currently protecting NATO's airspace, according to Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, Sky News reports.
The latest statement from NATO concluded: 'Today, we have held consultations under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty. We have decided, in line with our defensive planning to protect all Allies, to take additional steps to further strengthen deterrence and defence across the Alliance. Our measures are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory.
'Our commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is iron-clad. We stand united to defend each other.'
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