NATO Secretary General discusses increased defence spending
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The NATO chief conceded the alliance is “concerned” about Vladimir Putin resorting to non-conventional weapons to exert its full control over Ukraine. Jens Stoltenberg suggested Russia is “trying to create a pretext” to justify the use of his chemical and biological arsenal after his troops failed to make significant advances. However, Mr Stoltenberg warned the use of chemical weapons would “totally change the nature of the conflict.”
He also warned there would be “widespread consequences” not only for Ukraine and Russia but also other neighbbouring European countries.
Mr Stoltenberg said: “We are concerned partly because we see the rhetoric and we see that Russia is trying to create some kind of pretext accusing Ukraine, the United States and NATO allies of preparing to use chemical and biological weapons.
“There is also a risk that it (a chemical weapons attack) will have a direct effect on people living in NATO countries because we can see contamination, we can see the spread of chemical agents or biological weapons into our countries.”
Mr Stoltenberg said Nato’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence elements had been activated and “we are taking measures both to support Ukraine and to defend ourselves”.
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Asked whether the move was based on credible intelligence, the NATO chief said: “We are concerned, partly because we see the rhetoric.
And we see that Russia is trying to create some kind of pretext – accusing Ukraine, the United States, Nato allies – for preparing to use chemical and biological weapons.”
Any use of chemical weapons “will totally change the nature of the conflict, it will be a blatant violation of international law and it will have widespread consequences”.
He said Russia had used chemical weapons before – including in Salisbury – and had supported the Assad regime in Syria.
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