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NATO chief warns of 'more assertive Russia' in US Congress speech

Al Jazeera

The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) warned on Wednesday of the threat posed by "a more assertive Russia", including a massive military buildup, threats to sovereign states, the use of nerve agents and cyberattacks. "We must overcome our differences now because we will need our alliance even more in the future. We face unprecedented challenges - challenges no one nation can face alone," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said during a speech to a joint meeting of the US Congress. Saying "time is running out", Stoltenberg also called on Russia to return to compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, from which US President Donald Trump plans to withdraw the US this summer. "NATO has no intention of deploying land-based nuclear missiles in Europe," Stoltenberg said.


Pompeo urges NATO allies to adapt to new China, Russia threats

Al Jazeera

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged NATO allies on Thursday to work together to confront a wide variety of emerging threats from Russia and China. Pompeo made the call at the start of a NATO meeting of foreign ministers in Washington, marking the 70th anniversary of the transatlantic military alliance. "We must adapt our alliance to confront emerging threats ... whether that's Russian aggression, uncontrolled migration, cyberattacks, threats to energy security, Chinese strategic competition, including technology and 5G ... [or] many other issues," Pompeo said. The meeting's first session focused on ways to deter Russia, including in the Black Sea, where it seized three Ukrainian naval vessels last year. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called on Moscow to release the ships and their crews.


Pentagon boss to NATO nations: Increase military spending

PBS NewsHour

BRUSSELS -- In an ultimatum to America's allies, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told fellow NATO members Wednesday to increase military spending by year's end or risk seeing the U.S. curtail its defense support -- a stark threat given Europe's deep unease already over U.S.-Russian relations. Echoing President Donald Trump's demands for NATO countries to assume greater self-defense responsibility, Mattis said Washington will "moderate its commitment" to the alliance if countries fail to fall in line. He didn't offer details, but the pressure is sure to be felt, particularly by governments in Europe's eastern reaches that feel threatened by Russian expansionism. Trump's Russia policy remains a mystery for many of America's closest international partners. As a candidate, the Republican president steered clear of criticizing Moscow for its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying he wanted a new era of cooperation between the former Cold War foes.


NATO agrees new plan to deter Russian attacks

Al Jazeera

NATO defence ministers have agreed upon a new master plan to defend against any potential Russian attack on multiple fronts, reaffirming the alliance's core goal of deterring Moscow despite a growing focus on China. The confidential strategy aims to prepare for any simultaneous attack in the Baltic and Black Sea regions that could include nuclear weapons, hacking of computer networks and assaults from space. "We continue to strengthen our alliance with better and modernised plans," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after the meeting on Thursday, which also agreed a $1bn fund to provide seed financing to develop new digital technologies. Officials stressed that they do not believe any Russian attack is imminent. Moscow has denied any aggressive intentions and said it is NATO that risks destabilising Europe with such preparations.


NATO to Adopt Its First Artificial Intelligence Strategy

#artificialintelligence

NATO will adopt its first strategy on artificial intelligence and launch an innovation fund this week with the aim of investing $1 billion to "futureproof" the 30-nation security pact, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday. "We see authoritarian regimes racing to develop new technologies, from artificial intelligence to autonomous systems," Stoltenberg said at a news conference at the alliance's Brussels headquarters. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will join his NATO member counterparts Thursday in Brussels to formally approve the plans during two days of talks. Stoltenberg said he expects the new NATO fund to invest in emerging and disruptive technologies. New headquarters and test centers will be set up in both Europe and North America to support the effort, he said.