Stoltenberg: NATO reinforced defense after attempted annexation of Crimea.

Following Russia's illegal attempted annexation of Crimea in 2014, NATO Allies have significantly reinforced their defense capabilities, air and naval presence so that Russia's aggression against Georgia and Ukraine does not happen against any Ally.

"What we see is aggressive actions of Russia and this is part of a pattern we see over many years. At the same time, NATO has responded in a firm way after the illegal [attempted] annexation of Crimea. We have implemented the biggest reinforcement of collective defense in a generation … It’s a very strong message to Russia that we are ready to defend and protect all Allies not to provoke a conflict, but to prevent a conflict, to preserve peace, to prevent anything like what we have seen against Ukraine or Georgia will never happen against any NATO Ally," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the ''NATO 2030 at Brussels Forum'' event.

According to him, NATO has significantly increased its presence in the Black Sea and will continue to do so under the NATO 2030 development program.

"We have increased our presence in the Black Sea. Three littoral states in the Black Sea [region] are three NATO members – Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania. We have more air police, more naval presence, we conduct more exercises. The NATO 2030 agenda is about how we can invest more in deterrence and defense activities, including in the Black Sea region. We also have important partners [in the region] – Georgia and Ukraine, and we are stepping up the cooperation with them, including helping Ukraine develop its naval capabilities. We are also working with Georgia on the Black Sea security," said the Secretary General.

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