NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance will do everything possible to protect Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia from external threats, he told The Financial Times.
“We never share the details of operational plans,” Stoltenberg said. “But I can assure you that we have been able to protect countries bordering Russia for decades, adjusting our presence in light of the threat assessment. We have done that before and we will do it again.”
According to him, at the upcoming summit in Madrid on June 29-30, the members of the North Atlantic Alliance will take large-scale and important decisions to further strengthen collective security.
Stoltenberg said these measures would radically improve NATO's defenses in the east. The new strategic concept will define goals and approaches for the 2030s, and will also make it possible to determine a sufficiently expanded plan for the defense of the eastern allies in response to the Russian threat.
The Secretary General noted that he discussed the issues of increasing the military contingent in the Baltic countries with their leaders. For example, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said she was counting on a greater NATO presence.
Stoltenberg added: “Our main responsibility is to prevent any attack on Estonia or any other ally.
“That’s why we will take huge and important decisions at the summit to further increase our collective defence . . . to defend every inch of NATO territory as we’ve done for 72 years,” he said.