NATO summit: Alliance prepares for confrontation

NATO Summit: The Alliance Prepares for Confrontation

Today another NATO summit began in Madrid, at which cardinal changes in the concept of the North Atlantic Alliance may be made.

Russia will become a strategic rival

It is expected that the NATO Strategic Concept (SC) will be updated at the summit. The new document has already received an unofficial name – the “Madrid Concept”, in which the Allies will name Russia as a direct enemy of collective security.

“Our new concept will lead us into a new era of strategic competition. I expect the Allies to clearly define Russia as “The biggest and most direct threat to our security. For the first time, it will also involve China and the threats Beijing poses to security, interests and values,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

He recalled that the meeting before the approval of the current strategic concept, approved in 2010, was attended by the then President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev. “Then we accepted that Russia is a strategic partner. This will not happen in Madrid,” the Secretary General said.

Ukraine can count on help

The heads of state and government intend to approve a new package of broad assistance for Ukraine. It will include, in particular, short-term and immediate measures, such as the supply of fuel, protective equipment, portable means to combat drones, secure communications, and other military equipment. The Alliance's long-term assistance will be aimed at re-equipping the Ukrainian Armed Forces with modern models, their departure from the “post-Soviet era” and strengthening Ukraine's institutions in the areas of security and defense.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the Alliance's summit in Madrid. “I had a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. We coordinated positions on the eve of the Madrid NATO summit. He pointed out the importance of a powerful missile defense system for Ukraine to prevent Russian terrorist attacks,” Zelensky said. In addition, the President of Ukraine will address the participants of the NATO Madrid Summit via videoconference.

But this summit will not discuss the issue of providing Kyiv with a Membership Action Plan (MAP) in NATO.

NATO intends to increase its presence in Europe

According to the newspaper El País, during the June 28-30 NATO summit in Madrid, a decision could be made on the largest military deployment of forces since the Cold War. NATO Rapid Reaction Force will be increased from around 40,000 to 300,000 troops.

The 30 member states of the North Atlantic Alliance will meet at maximum military readiness against the background of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine and will use the summit to reorganize forces in the event of a potential escalation of conflict, redefine strategy for the future and step up national defense investments and co-financing of the Alliance.

El País sources said that adjustments are expected in the “defense and deterrence” doctrine regarding the recruitment of weapons and troops to respond to possible security threats in the Euro-Atlantic area. It is noted that “some countries want to move in the East from the current presence of the Alliance in the format of battle groups to the formation of brigades.”

If, under the current model, we are talking about about 1000 – 1600 soldiers in each group, then in the future this figure can be doubled. The new units also imply greater autonomy of operations and the supply of more advanced weapons.

At the same time, a number of Alliance allies, the closest to Russia geographically, want to increase their presence to the level of divisions of up to 15,000 soldiers. US President Joe Biden plans to announce at the NATO summit in Madrid the extension of the stay of part of the additional US forces in Poland.

The summit is a test for Biden

Experts see the NATO summit as an important test of Joe Biden's leadership. According to Voice of America, the US President must solve a number of tasks, including accelerating the entry of Sweden and Finland into the Alliance.

The appearance of US President Joe Biden at the NATO summit in Madrid on Tuesday will be the most serious test for his administration's efforts to keep the Alliance united and counter the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The US government is traditionally considered the main partner of the most powerful military organization in the world – NATO.

“This NATO summit is the ultimate test of Biden's leadership,” Marshall Billingsley, former Assistant Secretary General of NATO, told Fox News. – First, and most importantly, he must clear the way for Finland and Sweden to join the Bloc by making an agreement with Turkey. Secondhe must convince countries to supply significant additional heavy weapons to Ukraine. This is especially true for Germany, which, for the most part, provides military assistance only in words.

In Madrid, in connection with the NATO summit, additional security measures are being taken. In particular, the presence of armed police in the city has been strengthened, traffic is limited on certain metro and public transport lines in the capital of Spain.

Expert opinion

Sergey Grabsky, military expert:

– NATO is changing the concept, and we play a significant role in it. We are a strategic adversary of Russia, and now, according to the new concept, NATO is also becoming its strategic adversary. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. And now we are talking about a significant strengthening of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, a greater intensification of combat training and a wider participation of Kyiv in the programs of the Alliance. And now for us, certain procedures for obtaining the same weapon will be simplified. In addition, we can count on deliveries of the latest weapons. After all, war is a testing ground for new weapons.

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