NATO head Jens Stoltenberg has said the alliance was implementing its biggest defence reinforcement since the Cold War, as the region grapples with terrorism and an increasingly assertive Russia.
He spoke a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would add more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal this year.
“NATO is facing a new security environment, both caused by violence, turmoil, instability in the south — ISIL in Iraq, Syria, North Africa but also caused by the behaviour of a more assertive Russia, which has used force to change borders, to annex Crimea and to destabilise eastern Ukraine,” Stoltenberg told reporters, using another acronym to refer to the jihadist Islamic State group.
“And therefore NATO has to respond. We are responding, and we are doing so by implementing the biggest reinforcement of our collective defences since the end of the Cold War and the Spearhead force is a key element of this reinforcement, and it’s great to see that it’s functional, and that it’s exercising here in Poland,” he said.