NATO will reinforce its chemical, biological and nuclear defense systems on fears Russia is planning to use such weapons against the people of Ukraine, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.
"Our top military commander General Walters has activated NATO's chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense elements, and allies are deploying additional chemical and biological and nuclear defenses to reinforce our existing and new backing groups,” he told reporters in Brussels following an extraordinary meeting of heads of state and government.
The concerns stem from “absolutely false” Russian “rhetoric” that the United States, NATO allies and Ukraine are preparing to use biological weapons, Stoltenberg said.
“We’ve seen before that this way of accusing others is actually a way to try to create a pretext to do the same themselves."
Before he spoke, NATO leaders issued a joint statement vowing to “enhance our preparedness and readiness for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats,” adding “further decisions” will be taken at the next NATO summit, scheduled for this summer in Madrid.
“Any use by Russia of a chemical or biological weapon would be unacceptable and result in severe consequences," the statement added.