Defence Secretary Ben Wallace met with fellow Defence Ministers via video conferencing, say the MoD.

The crisis prevented ministers meeting in person in Brussels, but continued as planned via video conferencing, including several bilateral meetings, according to the MoD in a news release.

“Work continues at pace to progress NATO’s agenda to adapt and modernise to meet the threats of an increasingly unstable world, as agreed at the London Leaders’ Meeting last December.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“From the outbreak of Covid-19 to Russia’s new missile capabilities, the complex threats we face take many forms and derive from multiple sources. NATO is rising to meet all of these challenges, by strengthening its response to the pandemic, pushing forward its ambitious adaptation agenda agreed last year in London and continuing to provide essential deterrence and defence in an increasingly uncertain world.”

At this week’s meeting, ministers reportedly discussed the following.

  • A new deterrence and defence concept for NATO, which sets out a framework for the Alliance’s military activity in response to threats across land, air, sea and in the new domains of cyber and space.
  • NATO’s adaptation to address Russia’s deployment of new intermediate-range missiles and other new missile capabilities – NATO is responding to Russia in a balanced and responsible way, including by strengthening air and missile defences and adapting exercising.
  • NATO’s nuclear deterrent, including a meeting of the Nuclear Planning Group to discuss how to ensure the Alliance’s nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective.
  • NATO’s operations and missions around the world, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The MoD also added that the UK has been integral in “championing the Alliance’s collective, balanced response to new Russian missiles and in strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defence posture, which is the bedrock of the UK’s defence”.

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