NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking out against Russia’s unprovoked military offensive against Ukraine, detailed some of the organization’s plans for combatting any threat that targets member states.
During a Thursday morning news conference, Stoltenberg said that the North Atlantic Council had activated its defense plans to issue NATO forces wherever they may be needed.
“NATO’s core task is to protect and defend all allies. There must be no room for miscalculation or misunderstanding,” Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg said that thousands of troops, 120 naval vessels, and over 100 jets were all prepared and “on high alert, protecting our air space.”
“We will continue to do whatever is necessary to shield the alliance from aggression. Peace cannot be taken for granted. Freedom and democracy are contested by authoritarian regimes. We will protect our people and our values. Democracy will always prevail over autocracy. Freedom will always prevail over oppression,” Stoltenberg said.
Ukraine, not being a NATO member itself is in a difficult place, with Stoltenberg calling the country a “highly valued partner,” but announcing that the alliance will not get “directly involved within the country.”
Stoltenberg noted that there are currently no NATO troops inside of Ukraine, nor are there any plans for NATO to fight on Ukrainian soil.
“Peace in our continent has been shattered,” he said, calling the Russian invasion “a brutal act of war” and “a deliberate, cold-blooded, and long-planned invasion.”
Stoltenberg also slammed Russia for attempting to use force to “rewrite history,” and reestablish its former sphere of influence when the country was Soviet.
Stoltenberg demanded that Russia “immediately cease” its military actions. When asked about possible diplomatic solutions, he said: “Russia has shut the door to a political solution. We regret that, but that is sadly the reality.”
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