Cameron Says NATO Must Beef Up Its Forces to Respond to Russia

Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron put the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s relationship with Russia at the top of the agenda for the alliance’s summit next month as Ukraine said President Vladimir Putin is deploying missiles along its borders.

Cameron used a letter to national leaders to highlight Russian aggression in “NATO’s neighborhood.” He also outlined proposals for military exercises, an improved joint response force and the stationing of equipment and supplies in eastern Europe.

“Six months into the Russia-Ukraine crisis we must agree on long-term measures to strengthen our ability to respond quickly to any threat, to reassure those allies who fear for their own country’s security and to deter any Russian aggression,” Cameron wrote.

Putin’s annexation of Crimea and support for pro-Moscow militias in the east of Ukraine, which NATO countries say shot down a Malaysian airlines passenger jet last month, have raised the possibility of similar involvement in the post-Soviet Baltic states, which are now members of the alliance. The European Union this week boosted sanctions against Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine and the U.K. said it will send 1,350 personnel and 350 vehicles to a military exercise in Poland.

Cyber Threats

“We must accept that the co-operation of recent years is not currently possible because of Russia’s own illegal actions in NATO’s neighborhood and revisit the principles that guide our relationship with Russia,” Cameron said.

The alliance should review its tactics and ability to respond in the light of the changing threat from Russia alongside risks from failed states, cyber attacks and terrorism, when the U.K. hosts NATO’s first summit since 2012 in south Wales on September 4 and 5, Cameron wrote.

Support for Afghanistan and building a security network with countries around the world that share NATO’s values will also be on the agenda, Cameron said. Thirty-three partner countries have been invited to join the alliance’s 28 members at the summit to develop links.

“The Wales Summit should prove that NATO is a rock solid alliance with strong partnerships around the world that fosters global peace and stability, creating a secure environment for economies to grow,” Cameron wrote. “It is an alliance that reassures our 900 million citizens that together we can protect them from the changing and multiplying threats of an unpredictable world.”

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