Allied foreign ministers met at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday for a discussion on Russia and arms control.

They were joined by partner nations Finland and Sweden, as well as the EU High Representative Josep Borrell.

“Russia has increased its pattern of repressive behaviour at home and aggressive behaviour abroad,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He stressed that NATO’s dual-track approach to Russia, combining strong deterrence and defence with openness to dialogue, remains valid.

He underlined that all Allies welcome the recent decision to extent the New START Treaty and that NATO remains a unique platform for Europe and North America to consult on the future of arms control.

“While our relationship with Russia remains very difficult, our meeting today demonstrates strong agreement among Allies and with our partners. Despite years of pressure and efforts to engage in a meaningful dialogue, Russia has increased its pattern of repressive behaviour at home and aggressive behaviour abroad. In Russia, we still see violent oppression of political dissent.

And we call for the immediate release of Alexei Navalny and other peaceful demonstrators who have been arrested. Abroad, Russia undermines and destabilizes its neighbours, including Ukraine, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova. It supports the crackdown on Belarus, and tries to interfere in the Western Balkans region.

Russia continues its wide-ranging military build-up. From the Baltic to the Black Sea.
In the Middle East and North Africa. And from the Mediterranean to the Arctic. Allies have called out Russia’s disinformation and propaganda.”

Read the full transcript here.

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heroic

It’s always the little Men that cause all the problems in history.

dave12

Little man=putin.

heroic

Yes and Napoleon, Hitler, Kaiser Wilhelm 2.
little people bring big problems.

Last edited 1 day ago by heroic
Andrew

No doubt MR Putin is trouble

dan

Meanwhile the EU keeps pumping money into Putin’s pocket by buying this natural gas. Ugh

dave12

That point I do agree with you ,merkal is week.

dave12

*weak ,need edit UKDJ

Herodotus

You can edit…bottom right-hand corner…click and then click on edit!
You might also get the German Chancellor’s name right…it’s Merkel not Merkal. She certainly is not weak!

Damo

Yeah. Energy security more urgent than overall stability in Merkel’s mind and i guess for the German population as a whole. Merkel wants reelection, population doesn’t see defence as a priority

Steve R

Seems crazy to me.

The EU, and us, should be going for 100% renewable and/or nuclear power, gives us 100% energy independence and screws Russia by 28 fewer customers buying their gas.

captain p wash

You need to take a look at the China thing too mate……. They love all the western folk buying their crap, making them rich, helping to build all their Military stuff………. Mark my words mate, We are all in their cross hairs.

Steve R

Fully agreed we (as in all the West) need to wean ourselves off of cheap Chinese-made goods. Not just to curb their growing power but also to bring manufacturing back to the UK.

Debacles last year with PPE bought from abroad, being crap and then having to wait for more should have shown the idiocy of us relying entirely on someone else to make everything we buy and use in our homes.

DP

Couldn’t agree more with this thread. We, in the West, are largely culpable for China’s rise …. offshoring and importing of cheaper goods. We need to moderate our dependence on the likes of China, Russia … even India …. but it needs to be done as a collective (appreciate this will be easier said than done).

maurice10

The reliance on natural gas is a major weakness (notice the spelling Dave 12, only jocking), which is the one major problem facing NATO. Impressive committees and serious media statements aside, as long as Germany needs Russian gas, we ain’t going anywhere. There is one likely outcome of this reliance, closer cooperation, and possibly a seismic change of direction for Germany? With Britain out of the EU, it’s less united and Germany finds itself embroiled in constant financial burdens, as more fiscal onus bears down on the Bunders bank. With this in mind, splitting its foreign policy towards stronger economic… Read more »

John Clark

Interesting observations Maurice. Germany finds itself very reliant on Russian gas supplies. It seems our leaving the EU, coupled with Covid, has shone a spotlight on the serious problems that lay at that monolithic organisations heart. It appears to be totally lacking in the ability to react quickly, when it’s most needed. The UK’s departure appears to have sent a shockwave through the EU and Covid19 arriving at the same time has proven they lack even the basic organisational skills to act decisively. As childish as it may seem, the UK has utterly shown them up and they ‘really’ don’t… Read more »

Last edited 1 day ago by John Clark
heroic

” Dept wise, well, we will be in the same boat” …… Reckon ? I think you will find that the Mega Rich boats are all safely moored off shore mate.

julian1

i think you’ve drunk the Boris Kool aid mate, the EU countries are only a couple of months behind us re vaccines and you are failing to take into account the jobs lost which will accelerate after the end of furlough. The jobs and businesses won’t be replaced in the timescales you think and this pandemic will have further stings in its tail which will affect us all. Risk of UK break-up will undermine trade deals which may not be as attractive as you think anyway. I would dampen by enthusiasm somewhat.

John Clark

I’m a tad more positive Julian. Kool aid you say, well, if you think the EU are only a couple of months behind, you might have drunk a tad too much yourself! Uptake across the EU is very low, many people simply refusing to take it, they would be a few months behind, ‘if’ they promptly started vaccinating half a million, per country, per day, then they ‘might’ just be a couple of months behind! The UK has an extremely reactive economy and will spring back rapidly….. Come along Julian, don’t swallow Labours defeatist Britain philosophy. Labour would have us… Read more »

Last edited 1 day ago by John Clark
Geoffrey Roach

Love your last paragraph John and I know exactly what you mean. Imaging some of the shadow cabinet appearing on the world stage It makes me cringe.

maurice10

The dynamics of future international politics are very difficult to predict however, there is noticeable movement both in the West and East. The USA is quickly becoming less stable as its leadership vacillates wildly between extremism to incoherence. Some may dispel these vacillations as the vagaries of democracy. Sadly, it does damage confidence. A weakened America poses many problems for the Free World, as alternative influences could be critical to the complexion of global defence in the future? With Britain out of the EU, Germany needs to rely on closer ties with France and no matter how you dress it,… Read more »

John Clark

Good points Maurice, we live in very interesting times, that’s for sure……

Meirion X

The only thing Russia has to offer Germany, is dependency on imported energy!
Not something that Germany needs!

maurice10

One could draw that conclusion and be correct. Any closer tie-up would possibly result in more than just one facet of business. I can’t see much hope of the concept being feasible until such time there is a change of leadership and mood in Russia.

Meirion X

I agree Maurice!