NATO Weekly Roundup - Week of February 7th, 2022

“NATO EFP Battlegroup Estonia and Estonian Army Hone Interoperability During Largest Winter Exercise”

  • Soldiers from the UK, France, and Estonia participate in winter military exercises. Close to 1,400 soldiers engaged in the training exercises to prepare for possible military offensive and defensive actions in the winter. Soldiers from each country work alongside each other as a collective NATO Enhanced Forward Presence.  

“Secretary Blinken’s Call with NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, OSCE Chair-in-Office and Polish Foreign Minister Rau, and EU High Representative Borrell”

  • In a phone call with OSCE Chairman-in-Office Zbigniew Rau and EU High Representative Josep Borrell, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirms support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and the push for more diplomatic engagement with Russia.

“NATO Considers Bolstering Allies if Russian Troops Stay in Belarus”

  • NATO proposes to increase its military presence if Russia does not remove its troops in Belarus. While it is still unclear if Russia plans to invade Ukraine, NATO allies express concern, as total Russian troops near 100,000 and deployments now include field hospitals and other auxiliary units for treating wounds. 

“NATO Secretary General Jens Stoletenbger Speaks to President Tayyip Erdogan about Ukraine Crisis”

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanks President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey for his “practical support” and dialogue with NATO in relation to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis. 

“NATO Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Aircraft Over the Baltic Sea and in the High North”

  • Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem (CAOCUE) identifies two Russian Su-35s and two MiG-31s operating near Allied air space. Although the aircraft carriers did not enter Allied airspace, they did not file flight plans or communicate with Air Traffic Control. 

“Philippe Étienne, the French Ambassador to the United States, discusses the latest on Russia and Ukraine and how NATO and European allies approach the potential conflict” 

  • French Ambassador Philippe Étienne discusses the French president’s meeting with President Putin of Russia over the NATO-Russia crisis. According to the ambassador, much coordination is needed to preserve the unity between NATO states and continuing conversations between all parties is essential. 

“Nordic countries bundle up against NATO-Russia freeze” 

  • The Nordic states of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland each strategize for the possibility of a Russian invasion. The non-NATO states of Sweden and Finland have chosen to strengthen their Nordic defense cooperation and depend on the European Union, with Finland, who borders Russia, joining NATO at last resort. NATO members Denmark and Norway have both increased their military presence in the High North and Baltic Sea. 

“China joins Russia in opposing Nato expansion” 

  • Vladimir Putin met with Xi Jinping a few days before the Winter Olympics, where they discussed potential NATO expansion in response to rising tension between Russia and Ukraine. Moscow and Beijing released a joint statement on a variety of issues, though there was no explicit mention of the situation in Ukraine. 

“UK’s Johnson wants to offer Russia reassurance about NATO” 

  • A spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson released a statement in which the PM reaffirmed NATOs status as a “defensive alliance” in which all democracies in Europe are eligible to join. This statement is in response to Russia’s demands that Ukraine be barred from ever entering into NATO. Johnson also addressed Russia’s concerns of further NATO expansion, though he was quick to dismiss them, once again citing NATO as a “defensive alliance”.  

“Ukraine seeks closer ties with NATO on Cyber Defense”

  • The Ukrainian government aims for membership in NATO’s cyber security center, headquartered in Estonia, amidst Russian military threat. While non-NATO members such as Ukraine, can gain access through a “contributing participant” role, NATO allies have not reached unanimous approval for NATO’s admittance.