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Turkey blockade solved: NATO wants more presence in the east

2022-06-29T11:02:46.721Z

Turkey blockade solved: NATO wants more presence in the east Created: 06/29/2022, 12:54 p.m Jens Stoltenberg (l), NATO Secretary General, welcomes Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, to the NATO summit. © Bernat Armangue/AP/dpa The first success came even before the summit began: the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO is clear. Now, among other things, further aid for war-torn Ukraine sho



Turkey blockade solved: NATO wants more presence in the east

Created: 06/29/2022, 12:54 p.m

Jens Stoltenberg (l), NATO Secretary General, welcomes Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, to the NATO summit.

© Bernat Armangue/AP/dpa

The first success came even before the summit began: the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO is clear.

Now, among other things, further aid for war-torn Ukraine should be involved.

Madrid - After the breakthrough in the dispute over Finland and Sweden joining NATO, the military alliance's summit meeting officially begins in Madrid on Wednesday.

At the two-day meeting, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US President Joe Biden and the other heads of state and government want to decide, among other things, on strengthening NATO's eastern flank and on a new strategic concept for the alliance.

The summit is dominated by the Russian war against Ukraine.

The first major success had already been achieved on Tuesday evening: after weeks of blockade, Turkey gave up its resistance to Sweden and Finland joining NATO in exchange for concessions.

Clear the way for Sweden and Finland

"I am pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO," Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Finnish President Sauli after a more than three-hour meeting with Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson Niinistö and his Turkish colleague Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

This also sends a clear message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that NATO's door is open.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (3rd from left) shakes hands with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (r) next to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (M) and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (2nd from right).

© Bernat Armangue/AP/dpa

Turkey, Sweden and Finland have signed a memorandum of understanding addressing Turkish reservations.

Among other things, it is about arms exports and the fight against terrorism.

This Wednesday, the heads of state and government of the allies would now decide to invite Finland and Sweden to join NATO.

Strategic compass as a guide

When NATO decided on the last strategic concept in 2010, the world looked different.

At that time, the Allies were still counting on a “genuine strategic partnership” with Russia.

China wasn't even mentioned.

Now, a good four months after the Russian attack on Ukraine, Secretary General Stoltenberg describes Russia as the "most significant and direct threat".

In addition, the concept will deal for the first time with China and the challenges it poses to NATO's security, interests and values, the Norwegian said at the beginning of the week.

More presence on NATO's eastern flank

Especially since the beginning of the Russian invasion, the eastern allies have been pushing for more soldiers on the eastern flank.

Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda told the German Press Agency before the summit that in view of the Russian war of aggression in Madrid, the transition from deterrence to forward defense had to be completed.

More ground troops are needed in the Baltic states and on NATO's eastern flank, said the Lithuanian head of state.

Air defense instead of air surveillance is also necessary.

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US President Joe Biden during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg at the NATO Summit.

© Susan Walsh/AP/dpa

Now the number of rapid response forces is to be increased drastically - from around 40,000 at present to more than 300,000.

The previous NATO intervention force NRF is to be replaced by a new armed forces model that is to be decided at the summit.

This should allow NATO to react much faster and more extensively to dangers.

More soldiers should be on standby for this.

According to information from NATO circles, the Bundeswehr's contribution to the new concept could be the 10th Panzer Division, which leads brigades and battalions under its command from Veitshöchheim in Bavaria.

Baerbock: Russia 'blew up' trust

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of destroying trust.

“We wanted to continue living in peace with Russia.

It was never the goal of NATO to go into confrontation with Russia," said the Green politician on Wednesday on the occasion of the NATO summit in Madrid on the television channel "Welt".

An attempt was made to build trust between NATO and Russia, for example with the NATO-Russia Founding Act.

"But Russia literally blew up that trust," Baerbock said.

NATO is a defense union.

"We have done everything to continue to live in peace, which is why we have not upgraded so massively in recent years," said Baerbock.

"Now, unfortunately, it is necessary because the Russian President is forcing us to do it."

Scholz promises Ukraine further arms deliveries

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) meanwhile promised Ukraine further arms deliveries.

In addition to humanitarian and financial aid, "weapons that Ukraine urgently needs will be made available," he said in Madrid.

"The message is: We will continue this for as long and as intensively as is necessary for Ukraine to be able to defend itself."

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) at the beginning of the first working session at the NATO summit in Madrid.

© Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa

Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) announced in Madrid on Tuesday that Germany would deliver three more 2000 self-propelled howitzers to the Ukraine.

Seven of these heavy artillery pieces with a range of up to 40 kilometers from Bundeswehr stocks have already arrived in Ukraine.

Scholz also welcomed the agreement on the admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO.

That is "something that is very, very important to us," said the Chancellor.

"Both countries fit in very well with our alliance." On Tuesday evening, Turkey gave up its blockade against admission and the three countries agreed on a corresponding memorandum.

Selenskyj is there via video

The 30 allies are also re-engaging with calls for more support from Ukraine.

Selenskyj, who is to be temporarily connected via video on Wednesday, called for a missile defense system from NATO before the summit.

Stoltenberg himself announced further aid for Ukraine to support the country's self-defense.

A new commitment came from Germany and the Netherlands on Tuesday evening: Both countries want to deliver six more models of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 together.

End of a summit marathon

The NATO summit marks the end of a summit marathon that began last Thursday with an EU summit in Brussels.

There, Ukraine was officially admitted to the group of EU accession candidates.

This was followed by the G7 summit of the economically strongest democracies in Elmau, Bavaria, from Sunday to Tuesday.

Chancellor Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi are the only three leaders to attend all three meetings.

dpa

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2022-06-29

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