MPs warn Ukraine crisis exposed Nato’s readiness to deal with Russian threat

Russia’s destabilisation of Ukraine has exposed “serious deficiencies” in Nato’s preparedness to deal with a military threat from its former Cold War adversary, a parliamentary report has warned.

While the risk of a conventional military assault by Russia on a Nato member state remains “low”, the danger of an unconventional attack using the kind of “ambiguous warfare” tactics deployed by President Putin in Ukraine is “more substantial”, said the Commons Defence Committee.

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The 28-nation alliance should urgently undertake a “radical reform” to prepare for either eventuality, including by establishing a continuous presence of Nato troops in its “vulnerable” Baltic members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and pre-positioning military equipment in the three former Soviet states, said the cross-party panel of MPs.

“Dramatic” improvements should also be made to rapid reaction forces, headquarters structures should be established for eastern Europe and the Baltic and large-scale exercises involving military and political leaders from all Nato states conducted.

They said Nato should make clear its commitment for all members to come to the aid of any member attacked should includes unconventional threats such as cyber-attacks, information warfare and the use of irregular militia.