Sunday, 16 December, 2018

We are not aiming at isolating Russia, - Stoltenberg

Reuters Reuters
Deanna Wagner | 10 June, 2018, 05:18

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels on Wednesday that the alliance's defence ministers would on Thursday decide on boosting readiness in Europe's east.

The NATO chief also confirmed that ministers are due to approve the establishment of new command centres in the German city of Ulm and in Norfolk in the United States.

NATO defense ministers have made a decision to build commands to help protect trans-Atlantic sea lines, and support logistics and military mobility within Europe at their last meeting.

"NATO will never turn off dialogue with Russian Federation".

The plan would require North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to have 30 land battalions, 30 air fighter squadrons and 30 navy ships such as destroyers ready to deploy within 30 days of being put on alert, although the proposal does not discuss specific troop numbers or a deadline for setting up the strategy. The two new commands would help "ensure we have the right forces in the right place at the right time", he added. "NATO will never turn its back on trying to make better relations with Russian Federation". Then on June 1, he slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe and Canada, citing national security concerns.

Donald Trump: Top economies should drop all tariffs
Trump pulled out of President Barack Obama's landmark nuclear accord with Iran over the objections of European allies. Trump will be leaving the summit four hours earlier to travel to Singapore to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Stoltenberg says the U.S.is investing more on European defense than ever despite the trans-Atlantic differences.

"When we look at a map, we can understand that namely the European Union plays an important role in the rapid movement of allied units", Luik said following his meeting with Mogherini.

The tariffs have also been a delicate issue for US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who had placed great emphasis on strengthening US ties with its western allies.

But Trump's envoy to the alliance, Kay Bailey Hutchison, warned before the meeting that the spending issue would remain a sore point for the president.

He said it is too early to call the tariffs dispute a trade war. Spending by European governments, Turkey and Canada is expected to rise by 3.82 percent in 2018, which would be the fourth straight year of increases and would mean an $87.3 billion cumulative increase since 2015.