NATO defense ministers emphasize need to strengthen cyber-security during Covid-19 crisis

  • 2020-04-16
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - During a meeting of NATO defense ministers on Wednesday, the ministers emphasized the need to strengthen cyber-security during the Covid-19 crisis, Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (For Development) told LETA.

During the meeting, several ministers, including leading politicians from alliance member states, emphasized that NATO armed forces must not suffer during the Covid-19 crisis, and that 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) should not be counted as the "ceiling but the floor".

Also in the discussions, a great deal of political emphasis was placed on working together to strengthen cyber security, because during the Covid-19 crisis, many processes are taking place virtually, so "we can expect even more attacks of all types," Pabriks explained.

"There was no formal decision at the meeting that member states should step up cyber security, but everyone understands that these are threats that need to be addressed," the minister said.

Ministers also discussed the fight against misinformation related to the spread of the coronavirus. In this regard, the minister praised the work of the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence in Riga.

On the Latvian side, it was important to emphasize at the meeting that despite the Covid-19 crisis, threats to the alliance have not diminished and "they are still there", so the alliance must be able to fight on two fronts, the Latvian defense minister explained.

"Despite everything, there was a generally optimistic atmosphere," added Pabriks.

Although the alliance has provided assistance to other NATO countries more severely affected by the coronavirus, Latvia has not requested such assistance, the minister pointed out.