Speaking at the opening of a meeting of allied chiefs of defence in Brussels on Wednesday, Stoltenberg thanked NATO’s military leaders for helping to ensure that the alliance is well prepared for a “new era of collective defence,” news outlets reported.
Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year, NATO activated all its defence plans, put more than 40,000 troops under its direct command, backed by significant air and maritime power, and strengthened its forward defences, Stoltenberg said in the Belgian capital.
“These actions reduce the risk of miscalculation and escalation, by making crystal clear we will defend every inch of NATO territory," he added, as quoted on the nato.int website.
Stoltenberg outlined some of the main priorities for the alliance's Vilnius summit in July to further strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
These include new regional defence plans, an ambitious new defence investment pledge, and a new defence production action plan, according to nato.int.
“We need that investment and production capacity now and for the long-term," Stoltenberg said. "We are moving in the right direction, but not as fast as the dangerous world we live in demands."
'Goliath is wavering': top NATO commander
Meanwhile, Admiral Rob Bauer, head of NATO's Military Committee, told the meeting that Russia is now in the 15th month of what it hoped would be a three-day war, the PAP news agency reported.
“Goliath is wavering," Bauer said, referring to Russia.
"And that is because David has shown immense resilience and tactical brilliance, supported by 50 nations around the world,” he added, praising Ukraine's war effort against Russia.
Admiral Rob Bauer, head of NATO's Military Committee. Photo: PAP/EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ
Bauer also said that adequate military planning was making it possible "to collectively defend not only the physical safety of our 1 billion people and 31 nations, but also the democratic values we all hold dear," the PAP news agency reported.
It said the chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, Gen. Rajmund Andrzejczak, was among those attending the meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.
Russia invaded Ukraine by land, air and sea on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.
Wednesday is day 441 of Russia's war on Ukraine.
Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info, nato.int