Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Foreign Policy

Boris Johnson calls on NATO to go global

LONDON — NATO should expand its geographic scope to the Indo-Pacific, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday as he urged European allies to ramp up their defense investments.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Johnson said Western allies “do not fully know” what Russian President Vladimir Putin intends. But he warned that “the omens are grim” and a further Russian invasion of Ukraine poses “extreme danger to the world.”

“If Ukraine is invaded, the shock will echo around the world,” Johnson said, warning that authoritarian regimes in Asia and beyond would “draw the conclusion that aggression pays and that might is right.”

With Ukraine ringed by well over 100,000 Russian troops, the crisis has bolstered NATO member states’ commitment to the military alliance, Johnson said.

Europe should do more to fund its own security and tackle its dependency on Russian gas, he said, adding that Europe needs “strategic endurance” to resist Russian aggression on its eastern border.

But “until 2014, European allies were cutting their defense budgets and shrinking their armed forces, perhaps faster than what was safe or wise,” he said, citing the year Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

Johnson, who last year announced that U.K. foreign and defense policy would tilt toward the Indo-Pacific region, said NATO should look beyond Europe and “consider what’s happening around the world.”

The prime minister also insisted there’s “ample continuity” in Britain’s foreign policy coordination with the EU, despite Brexit, because of shared values and objectives, pointing to collaboration with Brussels on sanctions against Belarus, and the trade dispute between China and Lithuania.

The U.K. government is also cooperating “very closely” with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the sanctions package targeting Russia in the event of a Ukraine invasion, he added.

Johnson took the stage after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the conference via video link that certain big powers were reviving a Cold War mentality, questioning NATO’s eastward expansion.

“If there’s a persistent easternward expansion, would that really guarantee peace in Europe?” he asked. “Would that really lead to lasting peace and stability in Europe? … Our friends in Europe need to have serious consideration about.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like


French President Emmanuel Macron has named a trio of female technocrats and a team of close allies to drive his climate agenda — but critics...


Press play to listen to this article DAVOS, Switzerland — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has ruled out reaching an EU-wide agreement...


Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia Tuesday called for using Russian frozen assets — both state assets and property of sanctioned oligarchs — for the...


Otmar Issing is president of the Center for Financial Studies. He is the former chief economist and member of the board of the European...


Press play to listen to this article Europe’s disease control body has urged countries to prepare contact tracing, vaccines, treatments and diagnostics as ways to...


Senior diplomats and European Commission officials have accused Poland of continuing to hold hostage a planned law to impose a minimum 15 percent tax...


Brussels is mulling a crackdown on Europe’s tiger kings. EU agriculture ministers will Tuesday discuss whether to ban the trade and keeping of exotic...


Press play to listen to this article STOCKHOLM — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan insists there are “terrorists sitting in parliaments of certain...