Nato needs new strategy to face threats from Russia, China: Pompeo

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WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday called on Nato allies to adapt to confront a wide variety of emerging threats, including Russia’s increased aggression, Chinese strategic competition and uncontrolled migration.

Pompeo made the call at the start of a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers in Washington marking the 70th anniversary of the transatlantic military alliance.

“We must adapt our alliance to confront emerging threats … whether that’s Russian aggression, uncontrolled migration, cyber attacks, threats to energy security, Chinese strategic competition, including technology and 5G, and many other issues,” Pompeo said.

In a 2018 strategy document, the US military put countering China and Russia at the heart of a new national defence strategy.

The meeting’s first session focused on ways to deter Russia, including in the Black Sea where it seized three Ukrainian naval vessels last year.

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg called on Moscow to release the ships and their crews.

He said Russia’s breach of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was part of a “pattern of destabilising behaviour.” Washington has said it will withdraw from the treaty this summer unless Moscow ends its alleged violations of the pact, which rid Europe of land-based nuclear missiles.

“We will not mirror what Russia is doing,” said Stoltenberg. “We will be measured and coordinated, and we have no intention of deploying ground-launched nuclear missiles in Europe.” In his remarks, Pompeo said Nato should also confront increased cyber warfare, including from China.

Washington has warned it will not partner with countries that adopt China’s Huawei Technologies systems, but has been at odds on the issue with the European Union, which has shunned US calls to ban the company across the bloc.

 

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