“Serious and widespread consequences.” This is NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin if Russia uses chemical weapons in Ukraine: “Any use of chemical weapons would fundamentally change the nature of the conflict. It would be a flagrant violation of international law, with serious and widespread consequences. The seriousness of the use of chemical weapons, furthermore, is aggravated by the fact that there is always the risk of contamination, since the chemical agents are distributed over larger areas”.
Thus, Stoltenberg understands that “it would be a catastrophe for the people of Ukraine, with the risk that we could see the spread of chemical agents also in NATO territory.” And then? “NATO is always ready to defend, protect and react to any type of attack on an allied country.”
The 30 NATO members plan to approve at this summit a reinforcement of the eastern flank, with new battalions in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia, in addition to the reinforcements already sent to the Baltic countries. “From the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea”, the Secretary General of NATO has said, to describe that lime military. Following the NATO summit, a G7 meeting will be held at the Atlantic Alliance headquarters, and then US President Joe Biden, with allied EU members, will address the European Council for a 48-hour summit. in which the war will be discussed and, also, the measures to tackle the energy crisis.
But that requires more money, of course. “Regarding national defense spending, I see a new sense of urgency among the allies,” acknowledges the secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance: “Everyone understands that, since we must now do more, that we are facing the most serious security crisis serious in a generation, we must invest more in our security. And the allies understand that the only way to do that is to also allocate more money to national defense budgets.”
The other focus of the summit is China. “We urge China to join the rest of the world in clearly condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and not providing political and certainly not any material support to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.” The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, has also wondered about “the role that China is going to play in resolving this conflict. Spain will always advocate for it to play a constructive role”.
On the table will also be the Polish proposal to send troops for “peacekeeping” to Ukraine, which the rest of the allies reject for fear of an escalation beyond the Ukrainian borders. “We have made it clear that we will not send troops of NATO or planes”, Stoltenberg insisted on Thursday: “We have a responsibility to ensure that this conflict does not spread beyond Ukraine, it would cause more suffering, more death and more destruction. Declaring a no-fly zone over Ukraine would mean massively attacking air defense systems in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, and also being prepared to shoot down Russian planes.”