Arriving at the start of the NATO Summit in Madrid on Wednesday (29 June 2022), Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg outlined the key decisions that will be taken to transform the Alliance and protect its citizens.
This will include a new Strategic Concept – “a blueprint for how to take NATO into the future in a more competitive and dangerous world” – a fundamental shift in NATO’s deterrence and defense, as well as strong support for Ukraine over the longer term, and even closer cooperation with partners. “Leaders will also make a historic decision to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO,” said Mr Stoltenberg, adding that this was made possible by the trilateral agreement reached on Tuesday between Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden.
Stoltenberg said Russia’s war is presenting the most “serious security crisis” in decades and the “biggest challenge” NATO has faced in its history.
“Russia has walked away from the partnership and the dialogue that NATO has tried to establish with Russia for many years. They have done so not least by the brutal invasion of Ukraine, a blatant violation, not only of international rule, but also of all the documents and agreements we have signed with Russia to try to establish a framework for a meaningful dialogue with Russia,” said Stoltenberg.
Jens Stoltenberg expects that Allies will state clearly that Russia poses a direct threat to NATO member states’ security, to their values, to the rules-based international order.
NATO members are united in wanting to place more weapons along the alliance’s eastern flank, and even agree there should be more forces put on standby to quickly head east if needed, the specificity of the number still left even the experts with questions.
NATO leaders prepared to boost the alliance’s defenses in the face of Russian aggression in Europe, including establishing a new force model that would put about 300,000 troops on high alert to deal with any future threats.
“We are sending a strong message to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin: ‘you will not win’,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the summit’s host, in a speech.