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The developments in and around Ukraine are seen to constitute a threat to neighboring Allied countries and having direct and serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area.

Secretary General announces North Atlantic Council to meet following Poland’s request for Article 4 consultations

Article 4 provides for consultations of the NATO members “whenever, in opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.” Such consultations are rare—this would be only the fourth time they have happened.

The North Atlantic Treaty, more popularly known as the Washington Treaty, signed by the 12 founding members of the Alliance, as well as the Accession Protocols for the 16 countries which have joined the Organization since 1949.Meetings of the Minister of Defence at NATO Headquarters in Brussels - North Atlantic Council Meeting

Under article 4 of NATO’s founding Washington Treaty: The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.

They are determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.

On following Article 5: The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.

And consequently they agree is that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Working together for peace and security. The North Atlantic Council, which includes the ambassadors of all 28 NATO Allies, will meet on Tuesday 4 March, following a request by Poland under article 4 of NATO’s founding Washington Treaty.

The last time was in 2012, following the Syrian shoot-down of a Turkish fighter over the Mediterranean. The decision by Poland to invoke Article 4 indicates that Warsaw—along with the three Baltic Allies—is concerned that developments in neighboring Ukraine poses a threat to its security.

Ukraine is not a member of NATO, it is not under the nuclear umbrella, and there are no obligations to protect it. But the Allies stand together in the spirit of strong solidarity” and promising to “support all constructive efforts for a peaceful solution to the current crisis.

Russia made a choice. We believe it is the wrong choice. Russia must choose to de-escalate. Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s integrity united the world in support of the Ukrainian people;U.S. Secretary Kerry.

On March 19, the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) will host NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen for a Statesman’s Forum address on the importance of the transatlantic alliance and how the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is evolving to address new common security challenges. As the crisis in Ukraine shows that security in the Euro-Atlantic area cannot be taken for granted, the secretary-general will discuss NATO’s essential role in an unpredictable world.