Espreso. Global

NATO proposes to create 'military Schengen'

23 November, 2023 Thursday
20:07

NATO would like to see a 'military Schengen' - a zone of free military passage similar to the political Schengen area, which allows free movement within most of the EU

This was stated by the head of NATO's logistics command, Lieutenant General Alexander Sollfrank, Reuters reports.

NATO has warned member states that excessive red tape hinders the movement of troops across Europe, and this problem could lead to significant delays in the event of a conflict with Russia.

According to Sollfrank, he would like to see a "military Schengen" - a zone of free military passage similar to the political Schengen area, which allows free movement within most of the EU.

"At the heyday of the war in Ukraine, Russia fired 50,000 artillery shells per day. These rounds have to reach the howitzers. So you have to set up warehouses – for ammunition, fuel, spare parts and provisions," Sollfranc said.

He pointed out that the vastness of the deployment of troops in Europe, and the fact that not all of them are based on the eastern flank, means that the Alliance must move them quickly from their bases to the right place.

"We are running out of time. What we don’t get done in peacetime won’t be ready in case of a crisis or a war," Sollfrank said.

Currently, NATO forces have to follow various national rules, ranging from the prior notification required to ship munitions to the permissible length of military convoys and disease prevention.

The alliance should not encourage the Kremlin to miscalculate by giving the impression that Moscow might have a chance to win because it is unprepared, Sollfranc warned.

"We need to be ahead of the curve. We have to prepare the theatre well before Article 5 has been invoked(of the Washington Collective Defence Treaty) is invoked," he said.

At the same time, Admiral Rob Bauer, head of NATO's Military Committee, complained that there is a surplus of rules, but the only thing that is missing is time, pointing out that Russia's war against Ukraine has turned out to be a war of attrition, and a war of attrition is "a battle for logistics."

  • Czech President Petr Pavel said during a meeting of the Visegrad Four presidents that all European armies are preparing for a possible armed conflict with Russia.

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