NATO’s defense ministers began on Wednesday a two-day online meet to discuss issues of mutual importance.

In his opening speech, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the meeting will discuss preparations for a possible second wave of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as security and defense issues.

“NATO is responding to COVID-19, and preparing for a possible second wave. But the security threats we faced before the pandemic have not disappeared. So we must continue to provide security to our close to one billion citizens,” he said.

“Today, we will discuss how to respond to the growing threat posed by Russia’s nuclear capable missiles. And we will also discuss NATO’s missions and operations with the focus on Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Formed in 1949, NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 countries.

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