NATO defence ministers meet as Russia advances in Ukraine

NATO defence ministers meet as Russia advances in Ukraine

Briefly: NATO defence ministers gathered in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday (14-15 Feb) to discuss maritime defence strategy, Finland and Sweden’s membership bids, and the preponderance of strange aerial objects over NATO airspace.

But NATO’s strategy in Ukraine topped the agenda. Russia’s long-anticipated offensive in eastern Ukraine seems to have started, with tens of thousands of troops massing around the city of Bakhmut. And NATO officials warned that Ukraine’s artillery-centric strategy – Ukrainian forces fire around 6,000 shells a day – could outpace NATO’s ability to resupply.

NATO ministers said they instead want to train Ukrainian forces in tactical manoeuvring that would limit reliance on artillery and help repel Russian advances.

Intrigue’s take: As the Russo-Ukraine War nears its first anniversary, NATO unity shows no signs of breaking. Several member countries, maligned in recent years for failing to achieve their defence spending targets, have now themselves called for bigger defence budgets and bolder commitments to Ukraine. Clearly, reports of NATO’s death are greatly exaggerated.

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