The German newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag has quoted NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as saying that the alliance’s new military strategy was adopted this week in response to what he described as “Russia’s nuclear threat”.
Stoltenberg noted that “sometimes, it’s necessary to hammer out new military concepts” to maintain NATO’s security.
The strength of the alliance is “that we are able to change when necessary”, he said, adding that NATO’s new military strategy is “about significantly improving our military capabilities in difficult times” rather than “appeasing US President Donald Trump”.
In April, Trump said that he would like to see NATO members pay at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defence – a shift from Trump’s speech last year when he told NATO leaders to increase defence spending to 4 percent of GDP, adding that the US pays 4.3 percent of its GDP on defence.
Stoltenberg’s remarks come after he told officials at the Cyber Defence Pledge Conference in London on Thursday that NATO won’t hesitate to use all means necessary to respond to cyberattacks, moving forward.
He noted that NATO officials have agreed that a cyberattack could in the future trigger Article 5 of the bloc's founding treaty, which dictates that an attack against one member can and will be treated as an attack against the whole of the military alliance.
Russia has repeatedly expressed its concerns regarding an increased NATO military presence in Europe, including the alliance’s eastward expansion. The Kremlin has underscored that Russia poses no threat to other nations, but will not ignore actions which endanger its interests.
According to Moscow, the alliance continues to allege that Russia poses a threat in order to expand its military clout along Russia's borders.