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In Madrid, NATO meets for a “turning point” summit without erasing all its divisions – Le Monde

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (right) and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, in Brussels, June 27, 2022. KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP It will be the summit of the “turning point”, says the Secretary General of the ‘North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Jens Stoltenberg. After the confrontation of Europeans with Donald Trump, then President of the United States, on defense budgets in 2018, the debate on “brain death” decreed by the French head of state, Emmanuel Macron, in 2019, the Euro-American reconciliation in 2021 and the shock, in March, with the emergency meeting due to the outbreak of war in Ukraine, the summit of NATO heads of state and government, which begins on Tuesday June 28 in Madrid, in Spain, should above all affirm the cohesion of the organisation. It is entering “a new era of strategic competition”, explains Mr. Stoltenberg, and must be united to face new challenges. No more friction and dissension? Probably not. Turkey seemed, Monday, June 27, to want to maintain until the end its veto on the accession of Sweden and Finland, thus mortgaging an event which promised to be the most significant of this summit for public opinion. Read also: Article reserved for our NATO subscribers: Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ambiguous game The text of the Alliance’s new “strategic concept” was also still under discussion. It is a matter of finding a formulation of a few key concepts that is acceptable to the thirty allies: the precise definition of the Russian threat, of the “challenge” posed by China, of the relationship between NATO and the European Union (EU), the desirable level of defense budgets, or even the resources to be allocated to the organisation. Outlining the main lines of the inaugural speech that he was to hold in Madrid, Mr. Stoltenberg highlights the subjects which unite the allies. First, the need to continue to support Ukraine massively, in accordance with what President Volodymyr Zelensky should demand, who will speak by videoconference during a special session devoted to his country. According to Mr. Stoltenberg, the leaders should announce measures to facilitate the transition of the equipment of the Ukrainian army to modern armament of the NATO type. New military aid promised to kyiv will include secure communications systems, fuel and anti-drone weapons. The war launched by President Vladimir Putin has also erased the differences between allies as to the definition of the Russian threat. It will be well presented as “the most important and the most direct” against the security and the values ​​of the transatlantic zone, as well as of the international order. Forgot the latest strategic concept, developed in 2010, which presented Russia as a “partner” country. “She chose confrontation, I regret that, but we have to face this new reality,” explains the secretary general. You have 64.91% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

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