NATO foreign ministers’ meeting dominated by Ukraine-Russia conflict and INF Treaty

A review of the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting, Brussels, 4-5 December 2018

By Dr. Ian Davis, NATO Watch

Key activities and decisions taken:

  • The Foreign Ministers issued a Statement on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, in which they formally state that the deployment of Russia’s new ground-launched cruise missile system violates the treaty. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States will abandon the treaty unless Russia returns to compliance.
  • The Foreign Ministers called on Russia to release the Ukrainian sailors and ships seized on 25 November, near the Sea of Azov.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina was invited to take the first steps towards NATO membership.
  • The NATO Foreign Ministers will next meet in Washington DC in April 2019, marking 70 years since the alliance's founding. NATO leaders will also meet later in 2019.

The NATO foreign ministers met in Brussels for a two-day meeting to discuss issues arising from the July NATO Summit, as well as recent geopolitical developments impacting on transatlantic security. The agenda was focused on five main issues:

  • the INF Treaty;
  • the recent Sea of Azov conflict—the latest chapter in the broader Russia-Ukraine conflict—as well as NATO’s cooperation with Georgia and Ukraine;
  • security and stability in the Western Balkans;
  • continuing instability in Afghanistan; and
  • the alliance’s approach to the Middle East and North Africa, with a focus on NATO’s new training mission in Iraq.

Read the attached pdf briefing to find out more.

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briefing_67_nato_foreign_ministerial.pdf 590.64 KB