NATO’s new strategic concept

To NATO, Russia is no longer a partner, but the most significant and direct threat.
The NATO Summit in Madrid is one of the most important meetings in recent years in terms of the results for Romania, president Klaus Iohannis said at the end of the first day of the summit. The president added that discussions and decisions focused on Russia’s military invasion of neighboring Ukraine, and that the new strategic concept of NATO, adopted on the sidelines of the summit, truly reflects the security developments. Therefore, Russia is no longer considered a partner, but rather the most significant and direct threat to allied security and stability. For the first time, communist China was accused of using a wide array of political, economic and military actions in order to expand its influence across the globe. China’s ambitions and its coercive policies represent a challenge to NATO’s interests, security and values, NATO leaders say, condemning the strategic partnership between Beijing and Moscow which, they say, goes against the international order.
NATO also confirmed the consolidation of its military presence on the eastern flank, including in Romania. NATO’s rapid response force will go up from 40,000 to over 300,000 military. „This is the biggest overhaul of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War that will be agreed at this Summit”, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. In turn, US president Joe Biden said „we are stepping up, proving that NATO is more needed now than it ever has been”. President Biden also announced an increase in the USA’s military presence across Europe. NATO promised it would support Ukraine for as long as it’s necessary, helping this country fend off the Russian invasion. Secretary Stoltenberg said support to Kyiv is a „moral and political obligation”. In a joint statement, NATO members that have already supplied weapons to Ukraine have agreed on a new type of assistance, consisting of delivering „non-lethal military equipment” and strengthening Ukrainian defense against cyber-attacks.
„Russia’s appalling cruelty has caused immense human suffering and massive displacements”, a declaration from the summit in Madrid reads, blaming Moscow for this humanitarian catastrophe. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, hailed what he described as „a strong and lucid” position of NATO towards Russia. Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin paid his first visit to Central Asia since the start of the conflict, and denounced the so-called „imperial ambitions of NATO”, which seeks to assert its „hegemony” by means of the war in Ukraine. Putin also claims Russia has no problem with the impending NATO accession of Sweden and Finland which, after decades of neutrality, decided to join the Alliance in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

(Bogdan Matei, Radio Romania International)