TOP News

World: NATO ministers focus on Russia regional destabilisation concerns

The scramble to rearm Ukraine is transforming NATO in a way that would've been hard without Putin's help

  The scramble to rearm Ukraine is transforming NATO in a way that would've been hard without Putin's help NATO countries are swapping Soviet-era weaponry for new, more uniform arms, and it probably wouldn't have happened without some prompting from Russia.NATO is not directly involved in the war, but the support it is providing to Ukraine is helping create a more unified alliance — both politically and militarily.

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - NATO foreign ministers will on Wednesday seek to reassure fragile countries in Russia's neighbourhood that they fear could be destabilised by Russia as the conflict in Ukraine drags on, squeezing energy supplies and pushing up prices.

NATO foreign ministers meet in Bucharest © Thomson Reuters NATO foreign ministers meet in Bucharest

NATO allies on Tuesday pledged more help to Ukraine to repair energy infrastructure heavily damaged by Russian bombardments in what the defence alliance's chief said was Moscow using the cold winter weather as "a weapon of war".

Speaking on Tuesday Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the 30-member alliance would hold talks with Moldova, Georgia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, countries "facing pressure from Russia."

NATO ministers meet to drum up more aid, arms for Ukraine

  NATO ministers meet to drum up more aid, arms for Ukraine BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his NATO counterparts are gathering in Romania on Tuesday to drum up urgently needed support for Ukraine, including deliveries of electrical components for the war-torn country's devastated power transmission network. Ukraine’s grid has been battered countrywide since early October by targeted Russian strikes, in what U.S. officials call a Russian campaign to weaponize the coming winter cold.

"We will take further steps to help them protect their independence, and strengthen their ability to defend themselves," he said, adding it was in NATO's interest to ensure their safety.

Moldova, wedged between Ukraine and Romania, last week warned its people to brace for a harsh winter as it was facing an "acute" energy crisis that risked stoking popular discontent.

It has also faced an unresolved separatist conflict for 30 years. A contingent of Russian peacekeepers is based in mainly Russian-speaking Transdniestria that borders southwestern Ukraine.

Russian-backed separatists control two breakaway regions of Georgia - Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In 2008, Moscow said they were under threat from the Georgian government and briefly invaded other parts of Georgia.

Bosnia has been going through its worst political crisis since the end of the Balkan wars of the 1990s, with Bosnian Serbs challenging state institutions as part of their longtime bid to secede, emboldened by at least tacit support from Russia.

NATO ministers will also talk about how to strengthen the resilience of society, days after Stoltenberg warned Western nations must be careful not to create new dependence on China as they wean themselves off Russian energy supplies.

(Reporting by John Irish, Sabine Siebold, Luiza Ilie; Editing by John Chalmers)

'Still a hostage': Critics slam Biden over Griner prisoner swap that left Paul Whelan in Russia .
CNN's Barbara Starr reports that US State Department officials are "worried" North Korea may resume nuclear testing after new satellite images show a new tunnel being constructed at a remote testing site.

See also