News / Europe

NATO Leaders Set to Gather on Russia, Middle East

NATO Leaders Set to Gather on Russia, Middle Easti
X
Al Pessin
September 02, 2014 2:34 PM
The leaders of the 28 NATO countries will gather for the first time in two years starting Thursday in Wales, in western Britain, with an agenda very different from the one they had for their last summit. VOA's Al Pessin reports from London.
Al Pessin

The leaders of the 28 NATO countries will gather for the first time in two years starting Thursday in Wales, in western Britain, with an agenda very different from the one they had for their last summit.

When NATO leaders last met in Chicago, Afghanistan was at the top of their agenda, and Russia was considered a partner in addressing issues like terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation.  This year, responding to Russia's annexation of Crimea and its invasion of eastern Ukraine will top the agenda.
 
The alliance faces a "changed world," according to NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
 
"We are faced with the reality that Russia considers us an adversary, and we will adapt to that situation," said Rasmussen.
 
That means a greater NATO military presence in member countries close to Russia, like troops in Lithuania, and a new force designed to strike hard and fast in response to an attack on any member.

But NATO has also been clear that it won't go to war with Russia to protect non-members, like Ukraine - drawing a “red line” that Xenia Wickett of London's Chatham House says may be counter-productive.

"One of the things that's going to be interesting not just at the summit but more broadly is whether actually NATO tries to be a little bit more ambiguous with its red lines in the future, which actually gives it a little bit more freedom to act, but also makes potential adversaries a little bit more nervous about acting because they don't quite know when they're going to elicit a strong response," said Wickett.
 
NATO leaders will also discuss countering the threat from the Islamic State group that has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria and terrorized local people and foreigners.  The United States has been bombing the group. And the U.S. and other NATO members have been providing humanitarian aid.
 
Afghanistan will still be a topic, as Taliban forces are becoming more assertive. NATO's combat mission there will end in December, and officials need Afghanistan's final approval for an agreement on a future advisory and training force.
 
Even just a few months ago, there was frequent questioning of whether NATO is still relevant in the post-Cold War world.  Such talk has been rightly silenced, says Chatham House director Robin Niblett, who chairs an alliance advisory group.
 
"This is a summit in which all NATO members and their partners need to step up and start to communicate to themselves and externally and to their publics.  This is a dangerous world, and there is a purpose to this alliance," said Niblett.
 
Experts and NATO leaders hope that the severity of the conflict over Ukraine has convinced people in alliance countries to put more money toward defense, and to fund rapid response capabilities designed to confront new threats to Europe and North America.

You May Like

Gun Nation

This is who America's gun owners are More

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Observer from: Southeastasia
September 03, 2014 2:40 AM
It may be too late now for NATO to confront Putin. It is widely circulated that Putin could take Kiev in two weeks' time if he wants to.

by: Tioteroken Turtle Clan from: Kahnawake
September 02, 2014 10:46 PM
Nato must respond to non-members request for help. The evil empire is with it again. And the bullying by the Russian federation, soon to be the Soviet Union again will continue to push and step over the line. Iraq a member to nato? Kuwait? How about Saudi Arabia? Maybe Siria? I guess the hesitation, apprehension on the part of natos member nations have very little interest in Ukraine. I believe it provides a conduit for gas to Europe from Russia. I think if the state of Ukraine was sitting on billions of barrels of oil every other state would be supporting the Ukrainian armed forces. I guess resources out way in value such principles as humanity, freedom and of course the sovereignty of the state of the Ukraine. We read about the cost of war. We hardly ever hear of the cost of freedom and of peace. I hope this nato summit hears the requests from the people of Ukraine
Ukraine may not be a member of nato but this sovereign state is a member of the community of United Nations. UNITY! Based on what?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs