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Czech Republic: Stoltenberg talks NATO expansion during Czech visit02:06

Czech Republic: Stoltenberg talks NATO expansion during Czech visit

Czech Republic, Prague
September 10, 2015 at 06:43 GMT +00:00 · Published

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a joint press conference with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in Prague, Wednesday.

During the press conference Stoltenberg discussed NATO expansion in the east of Europe and the Baltic countries. "We are making our forces more ready, more prepared, we have doubled the size of the NATO response force, we have established what we call a new high readiness joint task force, or spearhead force, and the lead element of this force is able to deploy within 48 hours," Stoltenberg said, adding that "just last week I had the honour of inaugurating a new small headquarter in Lithuania, what we call NATO force integration units, and this is one of six new small headquarters in the eastern part of the alliance, in the three Baltic countries, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria."

Citing reasons for NATO's expansion in the east of Europe the NATO chief stated that Russian aggression played a part along with security concerns in the Middle East and North Africa. "The alliance is adapting to a more challenging security environment caused partly by a more assertive Russia, being responsible for aggressive actions in Ukraine, but also of course caused by the instability, the violence, the conflict we see to the south of the alliance in Iraq, Syria, North Africa and in the wider Middle East region," Stoltenberg explained.

Stoltenberg is in the Czech Republic on his first official visit as Secretary General of NATO. On Wednesday the NATO chief met with several high ranking Czech officials and visited the Prague-Ruzyne military barracks with Sobotka where he met with US soldiers involved in the 'Dragoon' military convoy which will travel from Germany to Hungary via the Czech Republic and Slovakia in September and October. On Thursday Stoltenberg is scheduled to meet with Czech President Milos Zeman before departing for the Slovakia.

Czech Republic: Stoltenberg talks NATO expansion during Czech visit02:06
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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a joint press conference with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in Prague, Wednesday.

During the press conference Stoltenberg discussed NATO expansion in the east of Europe and the Baltic countries. "We are making our forces more ready, more prepared, we have doubled the size of the NATO response force, we have established what we call a new high readiness joint task force, or spearhead force, and the lead element of this force is able to deploy within 48 hours," Stoltenberg said, adding that "just last week I had the honour of inaugurating a new small headquarter in Lithuania, what we call NATO force integration units, and this is one of six new small headquarters in the eastern part of the alliance, in the three Baltic countries, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria."

Citing reasons for NATO's expansion in the east of Europe the NATO chief stated that Russian aggression played a part along with security concerns in the Middle East and North Africa. "The alliance is adapting to a more challenging security environment caused partly by a more assertive Russia, being responsible for aggressive actions in Ukraine, but also of course caused by the instability, the violence, the conflict we see to the south of the alliance in Iraq, Syria, North Africa and in the wider Middle East region," Stoltenberg explained.

Stoltenberg is in the Czech Republic on his first official visit as Secretary General of NATO. On Wednesday the NATO chief met with several high ranking Czech officials and visited the Prague-Ruzyne military barracks with Sobotka where he met with US soldiers involved in the 'Dragoon' military convoy which will travel from Germany to Hungary via the Czech Republic and Slovakia in September and October. On Thursday Stoltenberg is scheduled to meet with Czech President Milos Zeman before departing for the Slovakia.

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