Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has committed to supporting NATO’s efforts to combat COVID-19 in a video conference with Allied defence ministers.

NATO defence ministers met over video conference where they discussed how the Alliance can continue to protect its almost one-billion citizens, as it has done for over 70 years, during the COVID-19 crisis.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace reaffirmed the UK’s support for NATO’s role in the international response to the crisis and committed to examining all requests for assistance from Allies.

“One current priority is combating the spread of harmful, false and misleading narratives through disinformation. To bolster this effort, the British Army will be deploying two experts in countering disinformation. They will advise and support NATO in ensuring its citizens have the right information to protect themselves and its democracies are protected from malicious disinformation operations used by adversaries.

NATO can play a key role in the international fight against COVID-19, and Allied solidarity is more important than ever to ensure both the security and the health of our almost one-billion citizens.”

In discussions with fellow defence ministers, the Ministry of Defence say that Mr Wallace also underlined the importance of NATO continuing its core work of defence and deterrence against enduring threats and any that might emerge as a result of the crisis.

“The UK continues to play a leading role in that work. In Estonia, there are 800 troops deployed as the framework nation of the enhanced Forward Presence initiative which provides reassurance to NATO Allies. In Lithuania, the Royal Air Force is contributing to the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission, protecting the airspace of our Allies. The UK will continue to work with its Allies in NATO, partner countries and beyond, to galvanise a stronger global effort; to coordinate public health measures; to increase the resilience of the most vulnerable health systems; and to restore business confidence and protect jobs.”

Mr Wallace expressed gratitude to Germany after the country sent 60 ventilators to the UK in a further show of solidarity.

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