News story

Defence Secretary reviews NATO’s reassurance role with Secretary General

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has discussed how NATO can further reassure allies and partners in Europe during talks with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in London.

Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon meets the Secretary General Of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. Crown copyright.
Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon meets the Secretary General Of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. Crown copyright.

At a working dinner at Lancaster House with the Secretary General this evening Sir Michael praised the NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence commitment in the Baltic States in the face of an increasingly assertive and unpredictable Russia.

They also agreed to build on the commitments made at the Warsaw and Wales Summits: countering hybrid threats, supporting greater maritime co-operation and boasting our cyber security.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

Britain is stepping up to deal with the threats we face. The Army and RAF are providing assurance to NATO allies; with troops going to Estonia and Poland and jets being deployed to the Black Sea. Our Royal Navy is taking on people traffickers and training new Libyan forces in the Mediterranean. The UK is ahead of the NATO spending target and we’re ensuring the Royal Navy is growing with cutting-edge new aircraft carriers, frigates and submarines launching over the next few years.

At the NATO Defence Ministerial in Brussels last month the Sir Michael said that the UK will commit RAF Typhoon aircraft to Romania as part of the NATO Southern Air Policing mission to offer reassurance to Black Sea allies.

He confirmed that the UK will send 800 personnel to Estonia as one of four framework battalions to NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence, to which France and Denmark will contribute further troops.

Last week at the Foreign Affairs Council (Defence), the Defence Secretary called on European partners to do more and increase their defence spending to the NATO 2% commitment, meaning they are better positioned to tackle the new and emerging threats to European security.

Backed by a £178 billion equipment plan and defence budget rising in real terms for the rest of this parliament, the UK is one of the five of the 28 countries in NATO that meets the 2% spending target.

Published 23 November 2016