NATO Defence Ministers met by secure video conference on Thursday (18 June 2020), to prepare for a possible second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. They decided on a plan to provide support to Allies and partners, agreed to establish a stockpile of medical equipment and supplies, as well as a new fund to enable Allies to quickly acquire medical supplies and services. Defence Ministers from Finland, Sweden and Australia also joined the discussions, as well as EU High Representative/Vice President Borrell.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “I welcome that many Allies have offered to donate medical equipment to the stockpile, and to contribute to the financing. This is a sign of Allied unity and solidarity – just as Allies have supported one another, and our partners, in the first wave of COVID-19, we stand ready to support each other should a second wave of the pandemic strike, to reduce suffering, and to save lives.”
NATO Defence Ministers also decided to update NATO’s guidelines for national resilience to take greater account of cyber threats, the security of supply chains, and consequences of foreign ownership and control.