The North Atlantic Council can decide in favor of crisis management measures, ramping up intelligence or analysis activities based on Article 4. Like the decision to dispatch a NATO crisis management hybrid support unit to Lithuania. Naturally, the symbolic aspect of the decision was the stronger motivator in that case.
As concerns the military dimension, we need to consider that Latvia, Lithuania and Poland already host NATO troops. Should military pressure build up on the border, it might prove necessary for NATO to take certain additional measures. We have the capacity.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg today (yesterday – ed.). What might Kuleba have requested and what can NATO offer?
The NATO-Ukraine dialogue is mostly about offering crisis management measures. What these could be is being discussed. It is also not a crisis where notable developments are expected tomorrow or the day after that. Our main task is to send a strong enough signal to make sure nothing happens.
There are two aspects here. One is what NATO as an organization can do, the other aspect concerns member states and mutual cooperation. A lot of it is changeable.
The most important thing is the next U.S. weaponry shipment that concentrates on military capacity Ukraine lacks, such as high-end artillery radars. The U.S. has also deployed its military vessels in the Black Sea. The Brits sailed near Crimea recently to fly their flag.
I believe that the alliance and its members have reacted quite forcefully.
To what extent is the fact that the U.S. has lacked an ambassador in NATO for almost a year a hindrance?
USA is still the largest and most powerful member state. When their temporary charge d’affaires speaks, we know they speak for the U.S.
That said, a new ambassador would constitute a positive development as they are a direct representative of the president – it adds weight. But I would not say the current situation is in any way a hindrance.
How is the general work environment, especially considering the AUKUS agreement (a pact between Australia, the UK and USA that saw the former pull out of a deal to procure submarines from France – E. K.)?
Things have calmed down. There was a phase during which relations were strained, immediate after the signing of the AUKUS deal. But a host of mutual political steps to smooth relations and retain cooperation have been taken in the meantime, and we are rather looking ahead to the future.
The best example of this is the joint statement by President of France Emmanuel Macron and [U.S. President] Joe Biden that culminated in a meeting and a new statement. Various steps have been taken to clear the air in NATO.
The AUKUS subject matter also raised the question of the alliance’s role in developments in the Pacific, attitude towards China and matters that are on the table as part of the NATO strategic concept.
Of course, it is very important to specify cooperation with countries that share our values in the Pacific – Australia, South Korea, Japan – countries that make up the core of our Pacific partners. There are quite a few formats of cooperation.
I have always said that one form of cooperation that does not require a shared region and should not necessarily stay in the Euro-Atlantic dimension is cyber cooperation. Cyberattacks can start and hit anywhere.
The NATO Cyberdefense Center of Excellence in Tallinn is a good forum for such cooperation. South Korea and Japan have already dispatched their representatives, while Australia is set to follow suit in the near future.