Before the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in the Latvian capital, the Secretary General of the military alliance said Russia would have to pay a price if it used force against Ukraine’s independence again.
“The Allies agree that we need to have the plans in place to be sure that we are always able to protect all Allies against any potential threat. And that’s just to demonstrate the resolve and also that NATO lives up to our core commitment. And when we see more threats, more challenges, we see the fluid situation in and around Ukraine. And we also see this combined with the rhetoric and the track record of Russia. Russia has used force before, against European neighbors: Georgia, Ukraine, and they had troop forces in Moldova.
And then, of course, it is necessary to also look into the possibilities that Russia may consider once again to use force.
We can of course hope for the best, but we need to be prepared for the worst. And NATO is always prepared. And we always demonstrate the resolve and the willingness to protect all Allies, partly by clearly communicating that message, but also by actually implementing the biggest reinforcement or our collective defence since the end of the Cold War, including by developing the plans, increasing the readiness, reforming the command structure. And as you all know, for the first time in our history, deploying combat ready troops to the eastern part of the Alliance. And this deployment of troops in the eastern part of the Alliance, including the Black Sea, not only in the Baltic region, was a direct response to Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine”, - said Jens Stoltenberg.