Nato defence ministers have agreed to enhance reassurance measures in the wake of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis, during a ministerial meeting in Brussels, Belgium.
The 28 ministers also agreed to bolster the capability, training and readiness of allied forces, in order to prepare for the longer-term implications of the situation.
Scheduled to be developed by a Nato Summit in Wales in September, the readiness action plan will include proposals that seek to augment the Nato response force's level of responsiveness and Nato's intelligence and awareness. It will also pre-position equipment and supplies, and focus Nato exercises on specific defence challenges.
Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said every single ally is committing resources, including ships, aircraft and soldiers, to boost the alliance's collective defences.
"This is a time for all allies to play a part, and all allies are doing so," Rasmussen said, describing the US' announcement to commit $1bn to a European reassurance initiative as 'a clear sign of America's commitment to Europe, and the strength of the transatlantic bond'.
Rasmussen also welcomed the decision by Denmark, Germany and Poland to begin work to raise the readiness of the multinational corps north east in Poland.
"This will strengthen our ability to address future threats and challenges in the region, and it is a significant contribution to our collective defence," Rasmussen added.
The ministers also approved Germany's 'framework nations' initiative, which is expected to enhance multinational cooperation for the development of the forces and capabilities required to address Nato's requirements and cope with new security challenges.
In addition, the ministers have agreed to a comprehensive package of measures aimed at increasing the capacity and strength of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. It is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.
Image: The Nato defence ministers have approved a comprehensive package of measures to increase the capacity and strength of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Photo: courtesy of Nato.