BRUSSELS — NATO allies have agreed to provide Ukraine with equipment and training to withstand the consequences of a possible Russian attack with chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons, and the alliance increased its own preparedness for such an event, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.
Mr Stoltenberg, speaking to reporters after a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday, said the alliance feared that Russia would use chemical or biological weapons — which are banned by an international treaty — because it appeared that Moscow was creating a false story that the West was about to use them.
“We’re concerned partly because we see the rhetoric and we see Russia trying to create some sort of pretext to accuse Ukraine, the United States and NATO allies of preparing to use chemical and biological weapons,” he said. “and we’ve seen before that, this way of blaming others is actually a way of creating a pretext to do the same.”
President Biden attended the NATO summit on Thursday, the first in a series of consecutive summits with allies in Brussels.
Mr Stoltenberg said the alliance would provide Ukraine with detection equipment, protection and medical support, as well as decontamination and crisis management training to help cope with the consequences of using weapons of mass destruction. Such efforts would include civilian and military experts measuring radiation or chemical isotope levels.
“We are also improving our allies’ preparedness and preparedness for chemical, biological and nuclear threats,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.
The alliance’s top military commander, General Tod D. Wolters, “has activated NATO’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense elements,” he added, “and allies are deploying additional chemical, biological and nuclear defense assets.”
This step means that NATO teams with expertise in detecting and dealing with contamination following a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack will be brought into a heightened state of readiness, from previously standby, to enable early detection. should such an attack take place. Mr Stoltenberg pointed out that the use of such weapons in Ukraine could infect neighboring NATO members.
“Many people fear that Russia will use such weapons and accuse Ukraine of doing so, so it is important to determine exactly who did it, where and when it did so so that there is no ambiguity,” said Gustav Gressel, senior policy officer at the European Council of Europe. Foreign Affairs.
SOURCE – www.nytimes.com