UK ministers lead NATO charge on innovation
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab have backed NATO’s vision of a technologically advanced, globally focused Alliance equipped to confront threats of the future.
Wallace and Raab met virtually with Allied counterparts to discuss how the Alliance will continue to adapt to the era of systemic competition – and how the UK will be a steadfast partner in leading that process. The online meeting comes ahead of the first gathering of NATO leaders since London 2019 taking place in Brussels later this month.
The recently published Integrated Review into security, defence, development and foreign policy, as well as the accompanying Defence Command Paper, placed NATO at the heart of the UK’s vision for its role in the world over the next decade.
As part of that adaptation process, the Defence Secretary agreed with counterparts a new NATO Cyber Defence Policy which recognises the need for Allies to have an active and shared approach to cyber defence, from improved resilience to offensive cyber capabilities, as part of our collective defence.
Raab called on NATO allies to take action and respond to Russia’s malign activity, including using political tools at their disposal. He set out Russia’s unacceptable behaviour including the recent military build-up in Ukraine, GRU officers being behind the deaths of two civilians and an explosion in the Czech town of Vrbetice, and the limiting of staff at the US and Czech Embassies – defying the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
The Foreign Secretary also called for a strong, united response from Allies to the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk, by the Lukashenko regime in Belarus.
Wallace said: “Our recently-published Defence Command Paper placed working with international partners and committing to modernisation as fundamental principles for our Armed Forces. I am pleased that these are principles that NATO shares. The UK will continue to be one of NATO’s most active Allies. As the Alliance strengthens its approach to deterring the threats of today, looks ahead to the future, and grows its capabilities in new domains, our Armed Forces will be at the forefront of the collective response to shared threats.”
Raab added: “The UK is supporting and reinforcing NATO as we rise to the challenge of tackling hostile states like Russia, whilst also adapting to face new threats - from dangerous cyber attacks to poisonous misinformation, put about by those who want to undermine our way of life.”