Ongoing military support to Ukraine and North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) continuing transformation to face key security challenges were the focus of a meeting of the Alliance’s Chiefs of Defense, held today in Brussels.
Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, represented the UK for the meeting in Brussels, the first in-person session of NATO Chiefs of Defence since Finland’s accession to NATO.
Sweden was also represented as an invitee and NATO’s closest partner, ahead of its accession to the Alliance. The UK was the fifth NATO member to ratify Sweden and Finland’s membership, and welcomed Finnish accession to NATO.
The UK continues to encourage all Allies to ratify Sweden’s membership as soon as possible. Finnish and Swedish membership will make all Allies safer, and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure.
“As the war in Ukraine reaches another important phase, it is of the utmost importance that the United Kingdom and its Allies stay strong in our ongoing support to Ukraine, as they seek to drive Russian forces from their sovereign territory,” U.K. Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, said. “With Finland now a full member of NATO, and Sweden expected to complete its accession in the coming months, Putin has only succeeded in ensuring our Alliance is stronger than ever. I look forward to working with other Chiefs of Defense to finalize the transformation of NATO’s deterrence and defense ahead of July’s NATO Summit in Vilnius.”
With his counterparts, Admiral Radakin welcomed the new NATO Regional Plans, which give NATO military commanders a wide range of options to defend Alliance territory against threats from Russia and terrorist groups.
This is the first time NATO has developed such plans since the end of the Cold War. The plans form part of a decade-long process of transformation for the Alliance, which is stronger and more united than ever.
The UK is committed to standing with Ukraine for as long as it takes to defend themselves against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion. We are one of the leading providers of military support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine and have committed so spend another £2.3bn on military support for Ukraine this year. By making this commitment we are strengthening Ukraine’s position to repel Russia’s barbaric invasion and secure its long-term sovereignty.
The meeting of Defence Chiefs comes just days before the start of Exercise Spring Storm, the largest annual exercise involving the UK-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia, which will see more than 1,000 members of the UK Armed Forces leading the multinational training exercise.
The two-week exercise will showcase the UK’s ability to deploy hundreds of personnel, as well as armoured vehicles and helicopters to Europe, for an exercise to boost interoperability with NATO allies.