NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow discusses response to international conflicts

NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow discussed the organization's response to international conflicts on Monday at the annual NATO Conference on WMD Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation in Interlaken, Switzerland.

Vershbow specifically cited the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, the civil war in Syria, negotiations over Iran's nuclear program and tensions with North Korea.

"The truly splendid setting for our meeting cannot disguise the fact that this is a critical time for the security of all our nations," Vershbow said.

While seeking a strategic partnership with Russia, Vershbow said that NATO is pursuing a Readiness Action Plan to strengthen NATO's defensive capabilities. Vershbow also said that NATO's Deterrence and Defence Posture Review, which examined how conventional, nuclear and missile defense forces interact, anticipated some of the current dilemmas in relation to the crisis in Ukraine.

Vershbow asked the attendees of the NATO Conference to question whether the current Russia-Ukraine crisis will eclipse global non-proliferation efforts and if Russia can be trusted in light of recent breaches of international treaties.

In regards to Iran, Vershbow acknowledged progress has been made on negotiations over its nuclear program but said challenges remained toward forging a comprehensive deal.

Vershbow also said that continuing to bolster North Korea's confidence in NATO's motives and objectives in relation to WMD control is the best way to proceed.