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NATO defence ministers to discuss space threats, budget, COVID-19



NATO defence ministers are meeting on Thursday to strengthen their common responses to threats in space, COVID-19 and deliberate on their finances.

The ministers are set to decide to create a new space centre in Ramstein – a U.S.-NATO base in south-western Germany.

This will be used to share information about potential threats to satellites and to coordinate activities, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.

“Some nations, including Russia and China, are developing systems which could blind, disable or shoot down satellites,” Stoltenberg said.

During the first day of their two-day meeting, the ministers will debate on how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through NATO, some countries had requested support, such as with the supply of ventilators.

“All our militaries continue to play a crucial role in supporting civilian efforts, and allies are helping one another, setting up field hospitals and transporting patients,” Stoltenberg said.

The ministers will also discuss financial burden-sharing.

In previous years, the U.S. has insisted that countries contribute more to the common budget.

Defence expenditures for NATO countries grew for the sixth year in a row, according to new figures published on Wednesday.

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