Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Tod Wolters on Friday announced the activation of the NATO Response Force. The force has now been activated for the first time, as a defensive measure against Russia’s moves. The multinational force consisting of land, air, sea and special operations forces from the allies is now ready to be deployed.
The first-ever activation of the NATO Response Force comes as a defensive measure amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The force can now deploy itself quickly in support of the NATO alliance. Earlier, US President Joe Biden had announced the deployment of over 7,000 US troops to eastern Europe to help bolster the NATO alliance force.
However, the activation of the response troops does not mean that the NATO troops or the US will go into Ukraine to fight the war. Ukraine is not a member of NATO and the forces will not interfere in the ongoing invasion. US President Joe Biden had also cleared the same and informed that the troops are being deployed in eastern Europe to help bolster NATO countries’ defence against Russia’s aggressive actions. The forces on standby will not be fighting in Ukraine.
We are deploying elements of the #NATO Response Force.
Here are 5️⃣ things you should know about the highly ready, multinational force pic.twitter.com/abdWkNAtqg
— NATO (@NATO) February 25, 2022
The decision to activate the response force was announced after NATO leaders held a call on Friday morning. In a statement on the call, Biden said NATO was staying unified against Putin’s threats to international peace and security. The exact details and numbers of NATO’s response force are not clear yet.
NATO chief slams Russia
Earlier on Friday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the intergovernmental military alliance will “do what it takes” to protect and defend all its allies. The allied forces leader backed Ukraine and said that the force will protect “every inch of NATO territory.” He slammed Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and said that it has led to the shatter of international peace.
“Russia has shattered peace in Europe. The people of Ukraine are fighting for their freedom in the face of Russia’s unprovoked invasion. We deplore the tragic loss of life, enormous human suffering, and destruction. Our thoughts are with those killed, injured, and displaced,” Stoltenberg during the press conference following the virtual summit of NATO leaders. The NATO chief also called on Russia to stop this “senseless war”.
“Immediately cease assault. Withdraw all its forces from Ukraine. And turn back to the path of dialogue. And turn away from aggression,” Stoltenberg added.
“President Putin’s decision to pursue his aggression against Ukraine is a terrible strategic mistake. For which Russia will pay a severe price for years to come,” he said. Furthermore, the NATO chief reiterated that NATO Allies and the European Union have introduced significant sanctions against Russia.
Russia invades Ukraine
On Thursday, Russia launched attacks on Ukraine that quickly spread across the country as Russian forces attacked from three sides by land, sea, and air. Currently, a battle is underway for control of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. On the first day of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, 137 Ukrainians including military personnel and civilians, were reported dead. While on the second day, the sound of explosions was heard in Kyiv.