Updated Feb 24, 2022 - World

NATO chief: "Peace on our continent has been shattered"

Jens Stoltenberg

Photo: Zheng Huansong/Xinhua via Getty Images

NATO will deploy "additional defensive land and air forces" to its eastern flank and increase the readiness of its forces to "respond to all contingencies" in response to Russia's attack on Ukraine.

Why it matters: Russia's massive assault on Ukraine, which is not a NATO member, has raised fears that the conflict could spill into neighboring countries. NATO member Lithuania declared a state of emergency Thursday and deployed its military to secure its border

The big picture: "Peace on our continent has been shattered," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at an emergency press conference Thursday. "We now have war in Europe on a scale and of a type we thought belonged to history."

  • Stoltenberg tore into the Kremlin for continuing to build up its military and plan for the attack while pretending to be interested in a diplomatic solution.
  • "This is a deliberate, cold-blooded and long-planned invasion," he declared.
  • NATO will convene an emergency summit on Friday, which Finland and Sweden — who are partners, but not members of the alliance — will attend.
Data: The New York Times; Mapbox/OSCE; Map: Will Chase and Jared Whalen/Axios

What they're saying: "The Kremlin's aim is to re-establish its sphere of influence, rip up the global rules which have kept us all safe for decades and subvert the values that we hold dear. This is the new normal for our security. Peace cannot be taken for granted," Stoltenberg said.

Go deeper: Ukraine-Russia crisis latest developments

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