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NATO ready if war with Russia erupts – Admiral Bauer, Military Committee Chief

Admiral Bauer also confirmed Ukraine’s eventual NATO membership but said the ongoing war prevents it from joining at this year’s Washington summit.
NATO ready if war with Russia erupts - Admiral Bauer, Military Committee Chief
NATO Military Committee Chief Admiral Rob Bauer in Kyiv. Photo: ArmyInfo
NATO ready if war with Russia erupts – Admiral Bauer, Military Committee Chief

NATO Military Committee Chief Admiral Rob Bauer stated NATO is ready for potential war with Russia, though the alliance needs more troops, weapons stockpiles, ammunition and improved command systems. 

“Are we ready? The answer is: Yes! Our main task is to be prepared. If it happens today, then you have to fight with what you have. It’s always a combination of being ready today while also enhancing capabilities for the future,” the Admiral noted in an interview with ArmyInform in Kyiv.

He said after Russia’s 2014 actions in Crimea and Donbas, NATO realized it must refocus on collective defense over crisis response.

NATO Military Committee Chief Admiral Rob Bauer in Kyiv. Photo: ArmyInfo

The alliance strengthened its positions on the eastern flank. In 2016, the Enhanced Forward Presence program began in the three Baltic states. And in 2022, after Russia’s invasion, it was expanded to Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

“Now we have eight such battalion-sized battlegroups that can be combined into a brigade if needed. The respective countries constantly practice this mechanism. If more is required, then we will consider it. But for now, this is sufficient,” Bauer is convinced.

Bauer said Putin has achieved no strategic goals in Ukraine and has weakened some positions, while sanctions hinder Russian military modernization.

Bauer is confident Ukraine will join NATO eventually, with discussions ongoing about timing and requirements. Work continues on enhancing Ukraine’s interoperability with NATO forces in areas like procedures, doctrines and standards, as well as post-war needs. However, Bauer said full membership at the 2023 Washington summit is unlikely, as active conflict in Ukraine remains an obstacle to membership.

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