Leaders of the world’s largest defence alliance have gathered in Madrid to attend the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) 2022 summit. The summit began on 28th June and will conclude on 30th June 2022. At present NATO has 30 members: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Greece and Türkiye, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, Albania and Croatia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia. For the first time ever, the leaders of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea will participate in a NATO Summit.
Allies and these Asia-Pacific partners will initiate a roadmap for expanded cooperation, ensuring closer political consultation and joint work on issues of mutual interest, including cyber and hybrid threats, maritime security, counterterrorism, and the impact of climate change on security. The outcomes that can be expected from this summit are – New Strategic Concept, Stronger Deterrence and Defense, Membership Invitations for Finland and Sweden, Greater Resourcing for NATO, Support for Ukraine, Expanded Global Partnerships, safeguarding Democratic Values and Institutions, Strengthened Cyber Resilience and Defense, Strengthened Cyber Resilience and Defense, Combating Climate Change and Promoting Energy Resilience
The meeting is seen as a crucial one, as it has come at a time when there is high global tension amidst Russia – Ukraine war. This year’s high-profile meeting is of much importance because the leaders will be focusing on the strategic direction for the coming decade and beyond, ensuring that the alliance will continue to adapt to a changing world and keep its one billion people safe.
NATO’s Key Agendas for the 2022 Summit
Some of the important points that NATO leaders will be discussing during the Madrid Summit:
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- Leaders ensuring that NATO continues to fulfill its key purpose and greatest responsibility: ensuring collective defence for its member countries and keeping their people safe.
- There will be discussions on how Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the new security reality in Europe have affected NATO’s approach to deterrence and defence.
- Leaders will also discuss the steps taken by the alliance to address other challenges, like China’s growing influence and assertiveness and the security consequences of climate change
- Another important area to discuss will be the blueprint for the alliance’s future adaptation to a more competitive world where authoritarian powers try to push back against the rules-based international orders.
- A more comprehensive assistance package for Ukraine will also be a part of the discussion.
- Leaders will also decide to launch a one-billion-euro innovation fund to invest in emerging technologies.
- The alliances will also discuss and mostly agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions for NATO as an organisation.
- The leaders of Georgia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea and Ukrainian President Zelensky will also join the Summit via video call.
Major Outcomes of NATO Summit 2022
In the three-day NATO summit which is taking place in Madrid, this year NATO has expanded itself by 4 new countries: Japan, New Zealand, The Republic of Korea, and Australia. This expansion of NATO has been seen as a response to threats arising from China, especially in the indo-pacific region and Russia. Another reason for NATO expansion is because they want to keep an eye on the Indo-pacific region and China’s activities there.
Till now the major outcomes from this summit are-
- NATO will be boosting its rapid reaction force from 40,000 to 3,00,000 troops to deter Russia. As they have put 3,00,000 troops on high alert.
- German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz has said “ NATO countries will continue to send humanitarian aid, financial aid, and weapons to Ukraine to defend itself.
- Türkiye has agreed to Finland and Sweden’s bids to join the military alliance (NATO). By signing a memorandum Finland and Sweden have addressed Türkiye’s concerns, and have paved the way to join the alliance.
- President Biden had announced that a new permanent headquarters will be constructed in Poland for defence and he will also be boosting the enforcement, sending more machinery and everything else which is needed to Europe, especially the eastern part for as long as they need it.
Will Ukraine join NATO?
Even after sending numerous aids to Ukraine, the question remains will Ukraine ever join NATO? As one of the reasons for Russia invading Ukraine is Ukraine’s desire to join NATO. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s security demanded to NATO “rule out Ukraine’s membership of the military alliance”. In a meeting of the Joint Expeditionary Force in March, where some NATO members were also there to convene solutions to the crisis, Ukrainian President Zelensky said “ he understood that Ukraine could no longer become a member of NATO.” “For years we heard about the apparently open door, but have already also heard that we will not enter there, and these are truths and must be acknowledged,” he said. According to experts Ukraine’s ambition to join NATO seems far-fetched, but the probability of Ukraine joining the European Union is more likely.