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NATO summit to focus on confrontation with Russia, conflict in Ukraine

Ukraine, as representatives of the bloc countries have repeatedly stated, will not receive either an invitation to NATO or time-specific promises of admission

BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON, July 9. /TASS/. Confrontation with Russia and military support for Ukraine will be the main topics of the three-day NATO summit opening in Washington. In particular, the participants will talk about strengthening the military potential of the alliance, increasing the size of the armies of its member countries, acquiring new weapons, including air defense and missile defense systems, as well as new requirements to increase the defense spending of European states.

Ukraine, as representatives of the bloc countries have repeatedly stated, will not receive either an invitation to NATO or time-specific promises of admission. Instead, the leaders will again make a general political statement that they intend to accept Ukraine in the future, after the end of the conflict with Russia. Under the guise of "security guarantees" for Kiev, a number of decisions will be made that will prolong the military conflict, in particular, concerning supplies of weapons, military training and the exchange of intelligence information.

As for NATO partner countries, in addition to Ukraine, the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand have been invited to the summit to discuss military-political counteraction to China and the DPRK. NATO views this confrontation as part of the conflict with Russia. Brussels and Washington believe that China and the DPRK, along with Iran, are the main allies of Russia, helping Moscow cope with the economic pressure of the West and concentrate the military resources necessary to continue the special military operation in Ukraine, despite the supply of weapons to Kiev by all Western states.




The summit participants will mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the alliance. However, the celebration will be overshadowed by two events.

Firstly, this is the unsuccessful performance of US President Democrat Joe Biden at a televised debate with the ex-president and his main political opponent, Republican Donald Trump. Even among his most loyal supporters, it raised doubts about the ability of the current US President to lead the United States and NATO. As Politico noted, alliance allies doubt Biden's prospects for re-election, so the American president will have to show leadership qualities and prove his competence at the summit.

Secondly, this is the recent visit of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to Russia, which the EU and NATO perceived as undermining the alliance’s overall efforts to military support Ukraine.

No guarantees of ‘irreversible membership’ of Kiev

On May 31, speaking at a press conference in Prague following an informal meeting of the heads of foreign affairs of the alliance countries, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that at the summit in Washington they "will be taking concrete steps to bring Ukraine closer to NATO and ensure that there's a bridge to membership." His assistant for European and Eurasian affairs, James O'Brien, later argued that the West views Ukraine's path to NATO as irreversible.

However, on the eve of the summit a high-ranking representative of the US administration did not confirm that the final declaration would include the thesis about the irreversibility of Kiev’s accession to the alliance. However, the official stressed that the communique is expected to contain "very strong signals of allies' support for Ukraine on the path to Atlantic integration, and will also underscore the importance of Ukraine working on democratic, economic and defense reforms."

Money for arming Ukraine

On the eve of the summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO does not want Minsk 3, but intends to ensure that Ukraine "gains the ability to contain Russia." Therefore, according to Stoltenberg, in order to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis at the negotiating table, Kiev must be provided with even more weapons.

Stoltenberg confirmed that at the summit NATO will take away the authority to organize the transfer of weapons to Kiev from the US-led contact group for coordinating arms supplies to Ukraine. For alliance allies, these supplies will have to become mandatory rather than voluntary. In fact, NATO will not coordinate the transfer of weapons to Ukraine, but will manage this process. For these needs, according to Stoltenberg, a command structure of almost 700 officers has already been created in Wiesbaden, Germany.

The NATO Secretary General admitted that the draft long-term multi-year program he proposed in the spring to finance the supply of weapons and ammunition to Kiev for the summit was not approved. He initially advocated creating a fund of $100 billion a year, then ambitions were trimmed to $40 billion a year.

As a result, the alliance countries have so far reached a preliminary agreement that in 2025 they will allocate $40 billion for these needs. Stoltenberg claims that summit participants will call this figure the minimum for military supplies to Kiev in subsequent years, but how this will be worded in practice will become clear only after publication of the final declaration of the summit.

New supply promises are also expected at the summit. In particular, Stoltenberg announced that additional shells and missiles and new air defense systems would be provided, and a decision would be made to expand training of Ukrainian military personnel in Poland.

Militarization of industry and missile defense

NATO leaders will also discuss measures to build up their own military capabilities in Europe as part of the confrontation with Russia. Among the priority measures, Stoltenberg named strengthening the NATO air defense and missile defense system, including through the use of the AEGIS Ashore missile defense position area in Poland. It is one of two systems deployed by the United States in Europe since withdrawing from the ABM Treaty in 2002. It is about them the United States and NATO have been talking about for almost 20 years as about systems that supposedly "cannot be used against Russia."

Alliance leaders will also discuss military plans to increase the number of units deployed or ready to deploy near Russia's borders. The development of military logistics will be discussed, including the modernization and construction of roads, railways, tunnels, bridges, ports and airfields to quickly move reinforcements to NATO's eastern flank. Representatives of the bloc countries will discuss plans to accelerate the development of the military-industrial complex and increase the production of weapons and ammunition both to supply Ukraine in an open conflict with Russia, and to replenish their own reserves, which are seriously depleted due to supplies to Kiev.

The United States intends to announce new steps to strengthen Ukraine's air defense and military capabilities, a Washington administration official said. He clarified that it implies "a significant strengthening of Kiev defense capabilities." During the summit, Washington may also release new information about the provision of American F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Security measures

The main events of the summit will take place at the Washington Convention Center in the business center of the city. Security issues are handled by the US Secret Service, which provides protection to the country's top leadership and foreign leaders on American soil, together with the Metropolitan Police and the District of Columbia National Guard. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation will monitor the situation to identify terrorist threats. Law enforcement officials will install protective fences and checkpoints for cars and pedestrians along the perimeter of the summit site. Some streets in the center of the American capital will be blocked.

Part of Russian reporters, in particular TASS correspondents, were denied accreditation for the summit. The organization did not specify the reasons for the refusal.