NATO foreign ministers have formalised steps to deter and defend its allies against adversaries waging hybrid warfare, during a meeting in Antalya, Turkey.
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, and its continued actions in eastern Ukraine are classic examples of hybrid war, which comprise a combination of threats including conventional forces, subversion of legitimate governments, and cyberattacks.
Stoltenberg said: "We also face sophisticated disinformation and radicalisation campaigns.
"Our best weapon against disinformation is information based on our values of democracy, freedom of speech and open societies."
Meanwhile, the alliance is also working with the European Union to stem conflict to the south.
Stoltenberg added: "We will ensure that the strategies we are developing are complementary, so that we can work together quickly and effectively in the case of a hybrid threat against any of our members.
"The overall goal will be to ensure that, in the event of a hybrid threat, there is clarity on who does what, and when."
In addition to developing strategies to combat hybrid warfare, the foreign ministers also explored ways to increase the alliance’s cooperation with Sweden and Finland.
According to the secretary-general, the ministers agreed to look at ways to hold more consultations and to share more information regarding the happenings in the Baltic Sea region and beyond, so as to provide member states with the fullest possible picture.
The ministers will also explore how to conduct more joint exercises with Finland and Sweden.
Stoltenberg welcomed the UK’s announcement that it is providing funding to support Nato strategic communications to counter the Russian propaganda campaign.
Britain also agreed to fund defence capacity building, which is claimed to be the heart of the strategy to combat hybrid war, and will be supported by Turkey in this effort.