NATO votes in met master plan to deter growing Russian threat, diplomats say

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at a news conference ahead of a meeting of NATO Defense Ministers at Alliance Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman

  • prepares for simultaneously attack, such as nuclear and hack
  • Officials and diplomats say no attack is coming
  • Russia denies any warlike intentions

BRUSSELS, Oct. 21 (Reuters) – NATO defense ministers are set to agree met new master plan on Thursday to defend against any potential Russian attack on multiple fronts, reaffirming an attempt to deter Moscow despite the alliances new focus on China, diplomats and officials said.

The strategy, die confidential, goes beyond existing regional defence plans and aims to prepare for any simultaneous attack in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, possibly met including nuclear weapons, hacking of computer networking of by space.

Officials and diplomats say no attack is forthcoming. Russia denies any warlike intentions and says it’s NATO die risks destabilizing Europe with such preparations.

But US officials, NATO diplomats and… former officials say the “concept” for Deterrence and Defense in the Euro-Atlantic Space” – and the Strategic Implementation Plan – is needed as Russia develops advanced weapons systems and deploys troops and equipment closer to the Allied borders.

“If you have such a kind” of major conflict, will it activity over the whole area of operations,” said one senior U.S government official. “Several things can happen at once, and that really requires holistic planning.”

In May, Russia mustered some 100,000 troops on his limit with Ukraine, the highest number since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, according to Western officials. In September, Russia used new combat robots in big military to drill with his ex-Soviet ally Belarus die alarmed the Baltic allies.

Upgrade with Russia of replacing Soviet military space systems to allow attack satellites in job, developing artificial intelligence-based technologies to disrupt allied command systems is Moscow also develop “super weapons”.

revealed in 2018, they include hypersonic cruise missiles met nuclear capability die could be avoided early.warning systems.

Retired US General Ben Hodges, who commanded US Army troops in Europe from 2014 to 2017, told Reuters he hoped the strategic plan lead until more coherence in NATO’s collective defense which means: more sources for the black sea region.

“For me this is the more probably flashpoint than the Baltics,” Hodges said, noting less big allies such as Great Britain and France with a strong presence in the Black Sea and Turkey more focused on conflict in Syria.

Jamie Shea, a former senior NATO official now at the Friends of Europe think tank in Brussels, said the plan might also help to cement a focus on Russia in a time when the United States, Britain and France are developing Indo-Pacific strategies.

The Allies are trying to increase their presence in the Indo-Pacific and against China’s rising military power, to stake more ships to keep open sea routes.

“The assumption up until now, Russia has been a nuisance, but it is not an imminent threat. But the Russians are doing disturbing things, they are practicing with robotics and hypersonic cruise missiles can be very disruptive indeed’ said Shea.

Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Alison Williams

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