NATO increase rapid-response forces sevenfold. Ukraine holds nuclear cooperation with Russia.

NATO increase rapid-response forces sevenfold. Ukraine holds nuclear cooperation with Russia.

27 Jun, 2022 11:43

NATO to increase rapid-response forces sevenfold – Stoltenberg

The military bloc’s chief says the number of high-readiness forces will reach 300,000.

NATO will drastically boost the number of its rapid-response combat forces, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.

“We will transform the NATO response force and increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000,” Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of the bloc’s summit in Madrid, Spain later this week.

The NATO Response Force (NRF) currently has around 40,000 personnel.

Stoltenberg said the allies will strengthen their air defenses and increase stockpiles of military supplies.

Together, this constitutes the biggest overhaul of our collective deterrence and defense since the Cold War.

NATO leaders will kick off a three-day summit on Tuesday and focus on the collective response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“I expect it will make clear that allies consider Russia as the most significant and direct threat to our security,” Stoltenberg said.

Many NATO member states imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow and have supplied Kiev with heavy weapons, including missile systems, combat drones, and armored vehicles.

Russian President Vladimir Putin cited NATO’s eastward expansion and “efforts to gain a military foothold” in Ukraine as reasons for launching the military campaign in late February.

27 June, 2022 :20

Ukraine pulls plug on nuclear cooperation with Russia

Two international agreements on the regulation of the industry have been nullified

Ukraine’s nuclear regulator announced that its head ordered it to stop working with Russia due to the hostilities between the two nations.

A short statement published on Monday by the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine said that last week, acting Chief Inspector Oleg Korikov ordered that two agreements with Moscow on nuclear regulation be nullified. Signed in 1996 and 2002, they set the legal framework for the agency’s cooperation and information sharing with its Russian counterpart, Rostekhnadzor.

The Ukrainian agency cited “Russian aggression” against the country as the reason for pulling the plug on the agreements. It said it notified the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry about the decision.

Ukraine’s civilian nuclear industry was built when the country was part of the USSR, and for decades it relied on Russian expertise to keep it running. The Russian producer of nuclear fuel rods, TVEL, has long been the primary supplier of fuel for the nation’s power plants.

 US seeks to ban Russian uranium – Bloomberg

The 2014 crisis dealt a serious blow to the cooperation between the two countries, with Kiev declaring that it would use Western fuel instead. However, attempts by America’s Westinghouse Electric Company to create replacement products for Soviet-built plants in Eastern Europe only met with limited success. Ukraine also needs the domestic infrastructure to store nuclear waste, a problem which Russia typically deals with for its clients.

As late as 2018, officials in Kiev said they wanted TVEL to open a subsidiary manufacturer in Ukraine, despite the souring relations between the two nations at the time.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force. @Russia and Ukraine war news

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