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NATO defense ministers meet, talk eastern flank defense


NATO defense ministers meet, talk eastern flank defense


NATO defense ministers meet to discuss Ukraine war. Photo: NATO Official Photo

NATO defense ministers meet today in Belgium for an extraordinary meeting amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden has pledged to defend NATO territory, recently approving $200 million in military support for Ukraine. However, Washington opposes sending any troops into Ukraine, even after Russian missiles struck a military base near Poland. In a similar vein, NATO has opposed establishing the no-fly zone sought by Kyiv to help Ukraine secure its airspace.

NATO defense ministers will likely discuss ways to resupply and strengthen Ukraine’s air-defense capabilities, such as providing S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems and radar systems, which US politicians are pushing the Biden administration to consider following the scrapped Polish jet deal.

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A main focus of the talks will be defending the airspace of NATO’s eastern flank. Fears are mounting that the conflict could spill over into the surrounding region, accidentally or deliberately, which could trigger Article 5 of the alliance’s charter. While the US has pledged to defend NATO territory in the event of an attack, Organization members would likely take time to assess whether it was a part of a deliberate campaign before reacting. NATO’s response may be economic rather than military, given the risk of further escalation with Russia.

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