Nato begins Madrid summit amid ‘most serious’ security crisis since WWII
Madrid, Jun 29 (EFE).- Nato leaders are gathering in the Spanish capital Madrid for a “historic and transformative” summit in which the alliance will hammer out its new strategic concept to face its most serious security crisis since World War II, secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday.
Allied heads of state and government are expected to state in the strategic concept, Nato’s security roadmap for the next decade, that Russia poses a “direct threat” to Nato’s security, the Norwegian politician told reporters upon his arrival at the summit.
“We meet in the midst of the most serious security crisis we have faced since the Second World War,” Stoltenberg said. “And we see that Allies are able to demonstrate unity.”
The strategic concept will herald a “fundamental shift” to Nato’s deterrence and defense, with more forward deployed combat units, more high-readiness and pre-positioned equipment.
He added that Nato’s move to boost its high alert troops from 40,000 to 300,000 will come into effect by next year.
The secretary-general said Sweden and Finland would officially be invited to join Nato on Wednesday following a last-minute breakthrough to unlock Turkey’s veto on their admission on Tuesday.
The accession of the Nordic countries to the trans-Atlantic alliance, requested by the nations following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and expedited by Nato, must be ratified by the parliaments of member states, a process the Nato chief expects to be completed quickly.
Ankara lifted its veto after Sweden and Finland agreed to a shift in stance regarding Kurdish organizations classed as terror groups by the Turkish government, and their arms embargo to Turkey.
Nato leaders are also due to include China in the new strategic concept having omitted it from the previous document agreed on in Lisbon, in 2010.
The bulk of the Nato summit is taking place over Wednesday and Thursday amid tight security at the sprawling Ifema convention center in northeast Madrid.EFE