NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg delivered an online press conference following a virtual meeting of Allied Defence Ministers.

Ministers discussed NATO’s increasing response to the COVID-19 crisis and how the Alliance continues to deliver a strong deterrence and defence.

“NATO Defence Ministers have just addressed in an extraordinary meeting about the COVID-19 crisis NATO’s response. We have done so by secure video conference.

This was a timely and substantive discussion.

We reviewed our response to the pandemic. And we agreed on the next steps we need to take.

To continue to support each other, and support our partners.

COVID-19 represents an unprecedented challenge to our nations.

It has a profound impact on our people and our economies.

And it is imposing historic shocks on the international system, which could have long-term consequences.  

The crisis has shown that our nations are resilient, and united.

Our militaries are already playing a key role in support of national civilian efforts.

And using NATO mechanisms, Allies have been helping each other to save lives.

NATOs top operational commander, General Wolters, was tasked by foreign ministers two weeks ago to coordinate military support.

And today he updated us on his efforts to

ensure NATO uses its military resources most effectively.

Military forces from across the Alliance have flown more than 100 missions to transport medical personnel, supplies, and treatment capabilities.

Facilitated the construction of 25 field hospitals.

Added more than 25,000 treatment beds.

And over 4,000 military medical personnel have been deployed in support of civilian efforts.

Today, I encouraged all Allies to make their capabilities available so General Wolters can coordinate further support.

And I welcome the additional offers made by ministers today.

All NATO Allies are affected by the pandemic.

But not in the same way at the same time.

So when we effectively coordinate our resources, we make a real difference.

Defence ministers also addressed NATO’s continued deterrence and defence.

The bottom line is that security challenges have not diminished because of COVID-19.

On the contrary.”

Read the full transcript here.

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maurice10

NATO could become a principal hub for any future pandemic, in handling military assets to assist member states? A permanent division could be established in combination with national provisions, to ensure a more orderly and co-ordinated response. Obviously, this operation would need to be funded from the existing contributions, or additional funding? The WHO would still be the main focus on any given crisis, but NATO could be one of many agencies that ensures the logistics are in place for its members. Fighting contagion is the closest thing to a military Campanian, and by using the alliance and its broad… Read more »

JohnHartley

NATO and/or UK Gov should establish a link with Taiwan, re future outbreaks of pandemics in China. Taiwan spotted the serious nature of Covid-19 way before the West & long before the Chinese communists admitted anything.
Taiwan screened arrivals from China, looking for high temperature & symptoms. Something the UK Gov refused to do at UK Airports.
Taiwan stepped up paper mask production by ten million extra a day. It now issues a ration through pharmacies to ordinary Taiwanese. Britain still has a large paper industry, so why has UK Gov not asked it to switch to making masks?

Andy

Interesting development could be happening, Turkey failed to deliver a shipment to the U.K. today, at the same time Erdogan and Trump had a call and agreed to closely cooperate.

Read into that what you will.

Andy

Prediction:

Turkey supplies the US with our PPE instead of us. We ask China for help, it agrees and the RAF fly to China to get it.

China then supplies us more PPE by freight train on a regular basis, which will ensure out support for their BRI, as well as a sympathetic stance when considering fault in a future virus blame game.

Trump then threatens our future UK-US trade deal because we are using the BRI and Huawei and attacks Boris for Chinese sympathies because we don’t go along with the US narrative at the UN.