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New RD Publication - The Alliance Five Years after Crimea: Implementing the Wales Summit Pledges

  • 20 Dec. 2019
  • |
  • Last updated: 16 Jan. 2020 08:58

NDC Research Paper 7

Marc Ozawa

The year 2014 was a tipping point in NATO’s approach to the Eastern Flank. Having observed a culmination of destabilizing events in Ukraine that included the Maidan protests and ousting of Viktor Yanukovych, a Russian sponsored civil war in the Donbass, and the illegal annexation of Crimea, not to mention the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, the Allies came together in the Welsh cities of Newport and Cardiff to discuss how the Alliance should respond. Shortly after NATO’s Wales Summit on 4-5 September 2014, observers described the event as a “watershed moment”. Looking back on the past five years, this description still holds up.

All together the Allies pledged to shore up deterrence and defense measures, military posturing, defense spending and develop programmes to counter new security threats such as hybrid warfare. The Communiqué comprises over one hundred paragraphs that deal with approximately forty topics. At Wales, the Allies recommitted to combatting threats in all of NATO’s theaters of operation; however, given the magnitude of what had transpired in Ukraine, it is not surprising that the Wales Summit Declaration begins with a rebuke of Russia’s actions and assurances for Allies on the Eastern Flank.

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