NATO summit: Alliance faces new tough concept

NATO summit: new tough vision awaits the Alliance

On June 28-30, 2022, the next NATO summit will be held in Madrid. According to the Spanish government, it will be attended by 40 to 50 foreign delegations at the level of heads of state or government. In particular, the presence of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, US President Joe Biden, leaders of 30 member states of the Alliance, four invited countries of the Asia-Pacific region (Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea), four EU countries that are not members of NATO are expected , as well as the heads of the European Council and the European Commission.

According to officials, the inclusion of the leaders of Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand in the NATO summit was intended to show that the war in Ukraine is not a distraction attention of Western countries from China.

The Spanish government has officially invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the summit. “We will be happy to welcome him in person, and if this is not possible, via video link,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenbeng said.

They will adopt a new concept against Russia

At the NATO summit in Madrid should adopt the first updated Strategic Concept since 2010, where, in particular, relations with Russia will be revised.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called the meeting in Madrid a “summit of transformations”. He stated that Russia's war against Ukraine has become “the biggest security threat in recent decades.” “Therefore, we must respond over a longer period of time. At the summit, we will take decisions aimed at making NATO an even stronger alliance in the world, which would become more dangerous and competitive. I am convinced that the Madrid summit will be a transformation summit with important decisions in key areas,” the Secretary General assured.

The first area he called “stronger deterrence and defense.” The second is “continuous support for Ukraine and other partners who are in danger.”

At the summit, in the conditions of a full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war, a new NATO strategic concept is to be approved – a document that defines the main lines of the alliance for the coming years. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO's strategic concepts have been updated approximately every ten years.

The Madrid Summit will discuss how NATO 2030 can be implemented, which aims to contain future threats, including the “growing aggressiveness of Russia “.

“The Madrid summit will be extremely important. The new strategic concept we will adopt will reflect the new reality of security. For example, the current strategic concept refers to Russia as a strategic partner and does not mention China. Now, of course, we will discuss the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation, as well as the impact of the rise of China on our security. The Madrid summit will be one of our most important summits,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper ABC.

The summit is also expected to announce plans to expand its forces in Eastern Europe, while the United States outline steps to strengthen European security.

There will be no miracle for Ukraine

As for Ukraine, it will also be the focus of the summit. Kyiv would like to receive the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) in Madrid first of all. But this is so unrealistic that the Alliance itself does not even mention this topic.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had to admit that he did not expect positive decisions for Ukraine at the NATO summit in Madrid. “I don’t have high expectations from the NATO summit in Madrid. My realistic expectation from the NATO summit is that a miracle will happen there. Of course, we will hear words of support, words of solidarity, but so far I don’t see any signs of powerful decisions that the Alliance is preparing on Ukraine, or even decisions on Black Sea security,” the minister explained.

– The situation within the Alliance is developing in such a way that a lot of countries are not ready to grant Ukraine the MAP. They are afraid of a greater confrontation with Russia and claims from other countries that are waiting for the MAP before Kyiv. In addition, the war means that there are territorial claims to our country. And NATO does not take such people. That is, there is a whole list of obstacles for Kyiv to obtain the MAP,” political analyst Oleg Sahakyan told KP in Ukraine.

Although Ukraine's membership in the North Atlantic Alliance does not seem realistic, this will give it the opportunity to enlist more support from the Alliance.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised that the Allies during the summit in Madrid will reaffirm their strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the closest partners – Ukraine and Georgia, as well as preliminary commitments to their Euro-Atlantic future. At the same time, Stoltenberg welcomed the efforts of the allies, which, within NATO and at the bilateral level, provide Ukraine and Georgia with practical support in the implementation of reforms, which advances both partners towards closer integration with NATO.

But there will be new weapons

In addition, the leaders of the NATO countries will approve a new package of assistance to Ukraine. “I expect that at the NATO summit, its member states will agree on a broad support package for Ukraine to help Ukraine transition from Soviet-era weapons to modern NATO weapons in the long term,” the Secretary General said.

According to him, this package will be based on the weapons that NATO countries are already transferring to Ukraine. But the transition period will require a lot more exchange of knowledge and experience, Stoltenberg recalled. This is what the new package will focus on.

As for the situation in Ukraine, the NATO Secretary General said that now it is impossible to say exactly how long the conflict in this country will last. “We need to be prepared for a long war. There are many types of support for Ukrainian forces. We must be very careful when talking about specific weapons systems,” Stoltenberg said.

Finland and Sweden have more chances to join

Sweden and Finland will take part in the NATO summit in Madrid, which will decided to join the Alliance after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, stepping back from years of neutrality. However, Turkey became the only NATO member country that opposed the admission of Sweden and Finland to the Alliance. The reason is that these two countries host and shelter Kurds, whom Ankara considers separatists.

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