Nato 'must show fight over Russia'

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says Nato must show it has the political will to fight if Russia attacks a member of the alliance

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says Nato must show it has the political will to fight if Russia attacks a member of the alliance

First published in Entertainment News © by

Nato must show that it still has the political will to fight back in the event of a Russian attack on any member of the alliance, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has warned.

As alliance leaders prepared to head for Wales for the Nato summit on Thursday, Mr Hammond said they needed to make clear there was a "red line" around the 28 full member states which could not be crossed.

In a speech to Nato parliamentarians in London, he warned any perception of a weakening in their commitment to collective self-defence could see the alliance, which has been the bedrock of Western security for more than six decades, rapidly unravel.

His comments came amid growing nervousness among former Eastern bloc member states - such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - that they could be the next target of Russian aggression following Moscow's incursions into eastern Ukraine.

Unlike Ukraine - which only has a partnership relationship with Nato - the three Baltic nations are all full members and, under Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty, the whole alliance would be obliged to come to their defence if any of them were attacked.

Nato leaders are expected to agree the formation of a new, high-readiness "spearhead" force which could see thousands of troops deployed within a matter of days - drawn up partly as a response to Russia's actions in Ukraine.

In his speech, Mr Hammond said it was now clear that efforts to draw Russia into a rules-based system of international relations had failed and that under President Vladimir Putin, Moscow had chosen "the role of pariah".

He said it was essential that Nato demonstrated it had both the will and the capability to respond "rapidly and flexibly" to any threat to its security.

"For Nato to maintain its credibility in the future, we have to demonstrate that we maintain the political will to act to defend ourselves and our interests," he said.

"We have to be clear that we have not lost the appetite to intervene when our interests or our obligations require us to do so.

"If we lack, or are perceived to lack, the political will to respond - and to do so quickly - the credibility of that commitment to collective defence will be undermined, and the very fabric of this, most successful of alliances, will unravel.

"So we have to be clear with Russia, in particular, that while we support a political resolution to the situation in eastern Ukraine, there is a red line around Nato member states themselves that cannot be crossed."

With only four member states - the UK, the United States, Estonia and Greece - meeting the Nato commitment to spend at least 2% of the GDP on defence - Mr Hammond issued an unusually blunt warning that the rest of the alliance must take up their share of the burden.

"That, frankly, is nowhere near good enough. European Nato allies cannot expect the US to continue to carry the burden of defending Europe if European taxpayers are not willing to invest in their own security," he said.

"Bluntly, there is no more important task than protecting our security and all Nato member countries now have to quit prevaricating, and put their money where their mouths are."

While officials expect fresh promises from leaders at the summit to raise spending on their militaries as their economies improve, it is unclear to what extent they will be prepared to commit to a firm time-frame.

Speaking at a reception for the Nato Parliamentary Assembly at Downing Street, David Cameron said it was vital for the summit to demonstrate its commitment to member states.

He told the audience of international delegates, which also included Mr Hammond: "What's happening in the Ukraine right now is disgraceful and completely unacceptable.

"Members of Nato want and deserve real reassurance that our Article V commitments are rock solid." He said he wanted the conference to demonstrate a "very clear, unified and strong message" about the importance of Nato globally.

Comments (7)

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6:36pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Bartholomew HuckleBerry says...

This man is a liar and a disgrace to humanity !
This man is a liar and a disgrace to humanity ! Bartholomew HuckleBerry
  • Score: 0

7:12pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Cityman23 says...

Bartholomew HuckleBerry wrote:
This man is a liar and a disgrace to humanity !
Which? Philip Hammond...or Vladimir Putin???!!!

Personally...I'd go for both!!
[quote][p][bold]Bartholomew HuckleBerry[/bold] wrote: This man is a liar and a disgrace to humanity ![/p][/quote]Which? Philip Hammond...or Vladimir Putin???!!! Personally...I'd go for both!! Cityman23
  • Score: 2

8:05pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Counterview says...

Why would Putin attack a full NATO member? What does Hammond think he is - a kamikaze pilot?
Why would Putin attack a full NATO member? What does Hammond think he is - a kamikaze pilot? Counterview
  • Score: 1

8:11pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

I'm no fan of Putin, but does Mr Hammond know what usually happens when countries attack Russia? To that end, it's a pity that the present government have made history a fringe subject as he might have learnt something about Napoleon's retreat from Moscow or the outcome of Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union during WW2. In fact, the last person to successfully 'conquer' the area now known as Russia was Genghis Khan. Britain is a tiny country that doesn't have an empire anymore in which the standard of living for most people is worse than most other European countries. If the government can't provide adequate social care or afford (as it claims it can't) to adequately fund a national health service then how the heck do our leaders think we are going to take on a country that defeated more successful leaders like Napoleon? Have their egos now really grown that humungous that they think they can invade Russia and 'win'?!!!
I'm no fan of Putin, but does Mr Hammond know what usually happens when countries attack Russia? To that end, it's a pity that the present government have made history a fringe subject as he might have learnt something about Napoleon's retreat from Moscow or the outcome of Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union during WW2. In fact, the last person to successfully 'conquer' the area now known as Russia was Genghis Khan. Britain is a tiny country that doesn't have an empire anymore in which the standard of living for most people is worse than most other European countries. If the government can't provide adequate social care or afford (as it claims it can't) to adequately fund a national health service then how the heck do our leaders think we are going to take on a country that defeated more successful leaders like Napoleon? Have their egos now really grown that humungous that they think they can invade Russia and 'win'?!!! Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 2

8:40pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Cityman23 says...

Counterview wrote:
Why would Putin attack a full NATO member? What does Hammond think he is - a kamikaze pilot?
Putin may be a devious, manipulative opportunist but he isn't a fool. He's played his 'cards' well over Syria last year when David Cameron was busy recalling Parliament last summer all to no avail. luckily by chance we avoided arming and supporting the very people (opposed to Assad) who just happen to be now IS!!!

The West supported what amounted to a coup d'état unseating the democratically elected Ukraine leader (He was awful though) and now fascists are in charge in Western Ukraine and the Eastern Ukrainians have turned towards the grateful waiting arms of....who else but Putin, who probably banked on this happening some day.

Yes, Putin has stirred things up for good measure, and some of his troops have crossed over the border. But Russia will never stand for The Ukraine becoming a full member of NATO, because it would be completely encircled by hostile countries. Gorbachev got a commitment years ago, that Ukraine would never become part of NATO. Games are being played here, but not just by one side. But games can go wrong and become, "playing with fire."
[quote][p][bold]Counterview[/bold] wrote: Why would Putin attack a full NATO member? What does Hammond think he is - a kamikaze pilot?[/p][/quote]Putin may be a devious, manipulative opportunist but he isn't a fool. He's played his 'cards' well over Syria last year when David Cameron was busy recalling Parliament last summer all to no avail. luckily by chance we avoided arming and supporting the very people (opposed to Assad) who just happen to be now IS!!! The West supported what amounted to a coup d'état unseating the democratically elected Ukraine leader (He was awful though) and now fascists are in charge in Western Ukraine and the Eastern Ukrainians have turned towards the grateful waiting arms of....who else but Putin, who probably banked on this happening some day. Yes, Putin has stirred things up for good measure, and some of his troops have crossed over the border. But Russia will never stand for The Ukraine becoming a full member of NATO, because it would be completely encircled by hostile countries. Gorbachev got a commitment years ago, that Ukraine would never become part of NATO. Games are being played here, but not just by one side. But games can go wrong and become, "playing with fire." Cityman23
  • Score: 1

10:31pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Counterview says...

Katie Re-Registered. Britain is a tiny........ Totally agree. But don't tell the UKIPpers. They still seem to believe we still stand like a mighty colossus exuding influence everywhere. We need to recognise that, outside the EU, we'd be minnows swimming amongst the big fish.
Katie Re-Registered. Britain is a tiny........ Totally agree. But don't tell the UKIPpers. They still seem to believe we still stand like a mighty colossus exuding influence everywhere. We need to recognise that, outside the EU, we'd be minnows swimming amongst the big fish. Counterview
  • Score: 1

3:17am Wed 3 Sep 14

Rita Jelfs says...

This is just 'sabre rattling' by the Government. The economy's not in a good place, the Scottish want independence, the UKIP look likely to be elected to a Parliamentary majority at the next election. What better way to divert from the domestic 'woes' to an international 'foe', and Mr Cameron's on the international 'stage' today? For the benefit of would-be UKIP voters.
This is just 'sabre rattling' by the Government. The economy's not in a good place, the Scottish want independence, the UKIP look likely to be elected to a Parliamentary majority at the next election. What better way to divert from the domestic 'woes' to an international 'foe', and Mr Cameron's on the international 'stage' today? For the benefit of would-be UKIP voters. Rita Jelfs
  • Score: -1
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