NATO Secretary General: Alliance Will Strengthen Air and Missile Defense in Response to Russian Missile Threat

Home / News / NATO Secretary General: Alliance Will Strengthen Air and Missile Defense in Response to Russian Missile Threat
According to Jens Stoltenberg, NATO member countries will purchase Patriot systems and fifth-generation fighters NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, at the Wednesday press conference after the first day virtual meeting with Alliance defense ministers, said that the Allies agreed on a common response to an increase in the nuclear missile threat from Russia. Stoltenberg told reporters that on June 17, the NATO defense ministers dedicated a separate discussion to Moscow’s new capabilities: “We turned to the vast and growing Russian arsenal of missiles capable of carrying a nuclear charge and to the consequences for NATO’s security. Last year, Russia's deployment of SSC-8 missiles led to the termination of the INF Treaty. SSC-8 missiles can be used in two ways, they are mobile and difficult to detect. "They can reach European cities with a short warning time and lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons." NATO Secretary General also mentioned Russia's development of hypersonic weapons, its modernization of intercontinental ballistic missiles and the work that Moscow is carrying out on other modern weapons systems. “For many years, we have also noted Russia's irresponsible rhetoric in the field of nuclear weapons, aimed at intimidation and threats against NATO allies. Russia's behavior is destabilizing and dangerous,” Jens Stoltenberg said. NATO’s response, according to its Secretary General was “to agree on a balanced package of political and military elements,” which includes “strengthening our integrated air defense and missile defense.” “A number of allies announced acquisition of new air defense and missile defense systems, including Patriot and SAMP / T batteries (ground-to-air ground-based air defense systems manufactured by European countries - ed.). We also agreed to strengthen our advanced conventional weapons designs. The Allies are investing in these new capabilities, including fifth-generation fighters. We are also adapting our intelligence and exercises,” Jens Stoltenberg said. At the same time, the NATO Secretary General reiterated his earlier statements that the alliance would not symmetrically respond to the deployment of new weapons by Russia and begin an arms race: “We are not trying to mirror Russia’s response and we will not deploy new ground-based nuclear missiles in Europe.”