Defence Secretary meets NATO Defence Minister in Brussels

The extraordinary meeting of Defence Ministers was called by the Alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in response to President Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the wider security issues for the region.

NATO Defence Ministers addressed both the immediate crisis and the longer-term adaptation of NATO’s defence activities. Priorities include demonstrating the Allies’ support for Ukraine, the ongoing humanitarian crisis, and the importance of Allies spending a minimum of 2% of GDP on Defence.

During the meeting Defence Ministers agreed to continue providing significant military supplies to Ukraine including lethal and non-lethal aid. The UK Defence Secretary highlighted that the UK would be providing Starstreak, a high velocity anti-aircraft missile system, that complements the other military aid provided by the UK Armed Forces, including over 4,000 anti-tank missiles.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

The UK and our Allies continue to support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.

I have met with my fellow Defence Ministers today to discuss the next steps.

While in Brussels, the Defence Secretary also held bilateral or small-group meetings with the US, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Canada, Slovakia, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

The UK has recently bolstered its military commitments in Eastern Europe including doubling the number of troops in Estonia, committing HMS Trent and HMS Diamond to the Eastern Mediterranean and providing air policing over Romania and Poland with RAF fast jets from the UK and RAF Akrotiri.

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