Tag Archives: NATO

Stoltenberg: NATO will stand with Ukraine

Brussels 11.10.2022 NATO Defence Ministers will meet in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday (12-13 October 2022) to step up and sustain support to Ukraine and continue to strengthen NATO’s own defences, against the backdrop of Russia’s most significant escalation since the start of the Ukraine conflict.

Previewing the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO will stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” He added that “NATO is not party to the conflict, but our support is playing a key role” in helping Ukraine defend itself and liberate territory, in the face of Russia’s “horrific and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and critical infrastructure”.

On Wednesday, the US-led Ukraine Defence Contact Group will meet at NATO. Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov will also update Allied Ministers on the latest developments on the ground and Ukraine’s urgent needs for the winter. Mr Stoltenberg welcomed “the recent announcements by Allies to provide more advanced air defence systems and other capabilities, and I look forward to further deliveries.”

On Thursday, the Secretary General will chair a meeting of the Nuclear Planning Group to discuss Russia’s dangerous nuclear rhetoric and the role of NATO’s nuclear capability in preserving peace and deterring aggression. Next week, NATO will hold its long-planned deterrence exercise, Steadfast Noon, “this is routine training, which happens every year to keep our deterrent safe, secure and effective.” Mr Stoltenberg said.

Ministers will agree measures to further strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence, by increasing stockpiles of munitions and equipment, providing industry the long-term demand they need to boost production through the NATO defence planning process, and increasing resilience and the protection of critical infrastructure. They will also discuss NATO’s missions and operations from Kosovo to Iraq.

“We have a difficult winter ahead. So it is even more important that North America and Europe continue to stand united in support of Ukraine and in defence of our people,” Mr Stoltenberg concluded.

The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell will also attend the NATO meeting, Stoltenberg said, pointing out that there are mutual security threats concerns for both organisations.

Ukraine applies for NATO membership

Brussels 30.09.2022 Ukraine has submitted an official application to join NATO, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said after Moscow organised referenda in controlled by Russian troops four Ukrainian regions. (Image: social media)

“We are de facto allies already,” Zelenskyy said. “De facto, we have already proven compatibility with Alliance standards.”

“Ukraine is applying to confirm it de jure by an expedited procedure,” he stated.

NATO’s “open door policy” is based on Article 10 of the Alliance’s founding document, the North Atlantic
Treaty (1949).

The Treaty states that NATO membership is open to any “European state in a position to
further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area”.
It states that any decision on enlargement must be made “by unanimous agreement”.
NATO claims it has helped increase stability and prosperity in Europe. It also announces that the Alliance is aimed at promoting stability and cooperation, and at building a Europe united in peace, democracy and common values.

To join the Alliance, nations are expected to respect the values of the North Atlantic Treaty, and to meet certain political, economic and military criteria, set out in the Alliance’s 1995 Study on Enlargement. These criteria include a functioning democratic political system based on a market economy; fair treatment of minority populations; a commitment to resolve conflicts peacefully; an ability and willingness to make a military contribution to NATO operations; and a commitment to democratic civil-military relations and institutions.

NATO supper at Prado Museum

Madrid 29.06.2022 The leaders of 44 countries participating in the 32nd NATO Summit organised in Madrid, the capital of Spain, had dinner at the Prado National Museum.

The dinner event offered to the leaders by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez brought together the heads of state and government, foreign and defense ministers from 30 NATO member countries, and also 14 countries that participated in the Summit as guests.

The meal was prepared by Spanish chef Jose Andres, who went to Ukraine for humanitarian aid in the first months of the war, and the Kiev Symphony Orchestra also gave a concert.

The leaders also had the opportunity to see some of the works of famous Spanish painters Diego Velazquez and Francisco de Goya in the museum.

Biden’s granddaughters, daughters of Hunter, Maisy and Finnegan fill in for Jill at a lavish NATO dinner.

NATO endorses new Strategic Concept

Madrid 30.06.2022 NATO heads of state and government meeting in Madrid on Wednesday 29 June 2022 approved a new Strategic Concept for the Alliance, setting out the priorities, core tasks and approaches for the next decade. The concept describes the security environment facing the Alliance, reaffirms our values, and spells out the NATO key purpose of ensuring our collective defence. It further sets out NATO three core tasks of deterrence and defence; crisis prevention and management; and cooperative security.

The document defines Russia as the “most significant and direct threat” to Allies’ security, while addressing China for the first time and the challenges that Beijing poses toward Allies’ security, interests and values. The documents also states that climate change is “a defining challenge of our time”. The Strategic Concept is updated roughly every decade and is NATO’s second most important document. It reaffirms the values of the Alliance, provides a collective assessment of security challenges and guides the Alliance’s political and military activities. The previous version was adopted at the NATO Lisbon Summit in 2010.

Ahead of the Summit thousands of protesters marched in Madrid on Sunday,Juin 26, against a NATO plans to launch a new arms race.

Leaders of member countries meet in Madrid on June 29-30, amid tight security, as the organisation faces the unprecedented challenge of Russia refusal of NATO expansion further to the East to Ukraine and Georgia.
However, in spite of Russian opposition to the NATO plans, Finland and Sweden have started the process of joining the Alliance.

NATO: Turkey opens perspective to Scandinavians

Madrid 29.06.2022 Turkey Sweden and Finland signed a trilateral memorandum on Tuesday, 28 Juin, in view of the perspective of the Nordic countries’ NATO membership process after an important meeting in Madrid in which Ankara has framed its demands, especially in the field of terrorism.

Turkey “got what it wanted” from the talks with Sweden and Finland talks, the Turkish presidency said in a written statement, underlining that full cooperation was agreed on with Turkey on fighting the PKK terrorist group and its affiliates.

Solidarity will be demonstrated towards Turkey in its fight against all branches of terrorism, it said. Furthermore, Sweden and Finland also agreed not to support the PKK organization’s Syrian wing, the YPG, as well as the Gülenists Group (FETÖ), all of them regarded as extremists in Ankara.

“As prospective NATO Allies, Finland and Sweden extend their full support to Turkey against threats to its national security,” the trilateral memorandum read.

“To that effect, Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the YPG/PYD, and the organization described as FETÖ in Turkey” the document continues.

“Finland and Sweden reject and condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, in the strongest terms,” it continued, highlighting that Finland and Sweden condemn all terrorist organizations perpetrating attacks against Turkey, and express their deepest solidarity with Ankara.

“Finland and Sweden commit to preventing activities of the PKK and all other terrorist organizations and their extensions, as well as activities by individuals in affiliated and inspired groups or networks linked to these terrorist organizations,” the memorandum said, adding that Finland and Sweden will address the issue of Turkey’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously.

However, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto told reporters after the meeting that the trilateral memorandum does not list individuals for extradition but rather describes principles for extraditions related to terrorism, not individual citizens.

NATO leaders will formally invite Finland and Sweden to join the alliance Wednesday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said during the membership process.

“I’m pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey’s concerns, including around arms exports, and the fight against terrorism,” Stoltenberg said Tuesday after crunch talks in Madrid.

The Turkish presidency added that the Nordic countries have also agreed to lift their embargoes on weapons deliveries to Turkey, which were imposed in response to Ankara’s 2019 operation into Syria.

The two countries will ban “fundraising and recruitment activities” for the PKK, and “prevent terrorist propaganda against Turkey.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted Sweden and Finland to abandon their long-held nonaligned status and apply to join NATO. However, Turkey had opposed the move on the grounds that these two countries were supporting terrorist organizations.

The agreement comes at the opening of a crucial summit dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden and other NATO leaders arrived in Madrid for a summit that will set the course of the alliance for the coming years. The summit was kicking off with a leaders’ dinner hosted by Spain’s King Felipe VI at the 18th-century Royal Palace of Madrid.

Diplomats and leaders from Turkey, Sweden and Finland earlier held a flurry of talks in an attempt to break the impasse over Turkey’s opposition to expansion. The three countries’ leaders met for more than two hours alongside Stoltenberg on Tuesday, Juin 28, before the agreement was announced.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson hailed the “very good agreement” with Turkey and said the move would make the alliance stronger.

“Taking the next step toward a full NATO membership is of course important for Sweden and Finland. But it’s also a very important step for NATO, because our countries will be security providers within NATO,” Andersson told Agence France-Presse (AFP) in an interview.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also hailed Turkey’s agreement to drop its objections to Finland’s and Sweden’s membership of NATO.

“Fantastic news as we kick off the NATO Summit. Sweden and Finland’s membership will make our brilliant alliance stronger and safer,” Johnson wrote on Twitter.

On the other side, a U.S. official said on the same day that Turkey did not demand concessions from Washington to support Finland and Sweden.

“There was no request from the Turkish side for the Americans to make a particular concession,” a senior administration official told reporters.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official called Turkey’s decision a “powerful shot in the arm” for NATO unity, Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah writes.

Madrid Summit transforms NATO

Madrid 28.06.2022 “The Madrid Summit will be a pivotal Summit. We will agree a new Strategic Concept, the Madrid Strategic Concept, that will be the blueprint for NATO in a more dangerous and unpredictable world” said the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, while opening the historic NATO Summit in Madrid together with the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez.

“We will agree a fundamental shift of our deterrence and defence with more high readiness forces, with more forward defence, with more pre-positioned equipment” he continued.

“We will agree a Comprehensive Assistance Package to Ukraine to help them uphold the right for self-defence. It is extremely important that we are ready to continue to provide support because Ukraine now faces brutality which we haven’t seen in Europe since the Second World War” Stoltenberg underscored.

“And then, we hope to make progress on the accession of Finland and Sweden. And then, of course, we will also state that to be able to defend ourselves in a more dangerous world we also need to invest more in our defences…” he concluded.

Spain hosts the NATO Summit in Madrid on 28, 29 and 30 June 2022. The meetings are chaired by the NATO Secretary General, and take place at RECINTO FERIAL IFEMA MADRID.

NATO: New Strategic Concept

Brussels 27.06.2022 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday (27 June 2022) said NATO leaders meeting in Madrid this week are set to sign off on key decisions, including a new Strategic Concept, a major strengthening of NATO’s deterrence and defence and greater support to Ukraine.

Speaking in Brussels ahead of the Summit which begins on Tuesday, the Secretary General said NATO leaders will also focus on investing in defence, aim to make progress on Finland and Sweden’s historic applications for NATO membership and deepen cooperation with Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

“At the Summit, we will strengthen our forward defences. We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance up to brigade-levels. We will transform the NATO Response Force. And increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000. We will also boost our ability to reinforce in crisis and conflict” Stoltenberg said.

“Nine Allies now reach or exceed the 2% target. Nineteen Allies have clear plans to reach it by 2024.
And an additional five have concrete commitments to meet it thereafter. Two percent is increasingly considered a floor, not a ceiling. We will also agree to invest more together in NATO for the benefit of our security” the Secretary General continued.

Stoltenberg welcomed President Zelenskyy joining the NATO Summit in Madrid.
“NATO and Allies have provided substantial support to Ukraine since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, including with military and financial aid, and training for tens of thousands of Ukrainian forces.
All of this is making a difference on the battlefield every day. And since the invasion in February, Allies have stepped up even more. With billions of euros’ worth of military, financial, and humanitarian assistance.At the Summit, we will agree a strengthened Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine.
This will include substantial deliveries of support. In areas like secure communications, anti-drone systems, and fuel” Stoltenberg underscored.

EU Defence ministers convene in Brussels

Brussels 17.05.2022 The EU Defence Ministers convene in Brussels to discuss the implementation of the Strategic Compass with a focus on the future of CSDP missions and operations. The Strategic Compass provides a shared assessment of the strategic environment in which the EU is operating and of the threats and challenges the Union faces. The roadmap makes concrete and actionable proposals, with a very precise timetable for implementation, in order to improve the EU’s ability to act decisively in crises and to defend its security and its citizens. The Compass covers all the aspects of the security and defence policy and is structured around four pillars: act, invest, partner and secure.

The other focus of attention is Russian aggression against Ukraine.A Ukrainian military base about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the border with Poland was targeted in a Russian missile attack early Tuesday morning, according to Maksym Kozytsky, head of the Lviv regional military administration. He gave no further details in a late-night Telegram post.

Informal lunch with the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg and the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Oleksii Reznikov (via videoconference).

The Russian President Vladimir Putin said the entry of Sweden and Finland into the US-led alliance will not create a threat to Russia, but military expansion into the territory will “certainly cause our response.” The Swedish government said on its website that it has decided to apply for NATO membership, following a similar declaration from Finland on Sunday.

EU: Sweden moves towards NATO

Brussels 16.05.2022 “Let me stress my strong support to Sweden and Finland. Some minutes ago, I had a conversation with the Swedish Minister [for Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde], who was kind enough to call me, to inform that the process has started, that they are going to inform the King, and that there is strong support for this decision inside the Swedish society and the Swedish political spectrum” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said at the doorstep of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Brussels.

“So, I think the European Union Member States will support this decision, and I hope we could override the opposition of some members of NATO,” he added.

Finland joins NATO without delay

Brussels 12.04.2022 Finland announced it would apply to join NATO “without delay”, with Sweden expected to follow suit, suggesting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will bring about the very expansion of the Western military alliance that Vladimir Putin attempted to prevent.

The decision by the two Nordic countries to abandon the neutrality they maintained throughout the Cold War would be a giant shift in European security structure in decades. Finland’s announcement provoked indignation from the Kremlin, which called it a direct threat to Russia and promised an unspecified relevant response.

The announcement by President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin means that Finland is all but certain to join the Western military alliance, though a few steps remain before the application process can begin. Neighbouring Sweden is expected to decide on application for NATO membership in coming days.

“NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance,” Niinisto and Marin said in a joint statement.

“Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay,” they said. “We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”

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