18:23 / 16.03.2022.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

NATO ministers say they will not deploy ground forces to Ukraine

Jens Stoltenberg

Jens Stoltenberg

Foto: Screenshot / Screenshot

An extraordinary meeting of NATO defense ministers was held in in Brussels today, at which the ministers agreed that NATO will continue to provide significant support to Ukraine, in the form of military supplies, financial help and humanitarian aid.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after Wednesday's meeting that allied heads of state and government will meet next week for an extraordinary NATO summit, at which the alliance will address its immediate response and the changes the alliance needs to make for its long term security.

Stoltenberg also made it clear that NATO will not tolerate any attack on allied sovereignty or territorial integrity, adding that the alliance has already activated its defense plans to protect itself and to increase its readiness and deploy troops from both sides of the Atlantic. Stoltenberg said that hundreds of thousands of NATO's troops are on heightened alert across the alliance, including some one hundred thousand US troops in Europe. The NATO Secretary General concluded that these troops will be backed by air and naval power. However, when pressed on the issue by reporters, he admitted that member states are united in the position that NATO should not deploy forces on the ground or in the air-space over Ukraine.

Representing Croatia at the meeting was Defense Minister Mario Banožić.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković visited NATO's Combined Air Operations Center northeast of Madrid today, in a bid to establish why NATO's defense systems failed to alert Croatia of the incoming drone that crashed in Zagreb's Jarun neighborhood on Thursday night. The bases' primary mission is to monitor Europe's NATO airspace south of the Alps, including Croatia.

Source: HRT

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