The meeting of the NATO heads of state and government in Madrid is also about rearmament in view of the Ukraine war. There was already a first major advance on Tuesday evening.

It is a historic feat for the defense of Ukraine: After the EU and the G7, NATO also wants to respond to Russia’s war of aggression with all military and financial strength at a summit on Wednesday and Thursday.

At the third summit meeting within a week, the western alliance is planning a deterrent on its eastern border through rearmament in the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

Dispute over Sweden and Finland joining NATO resolved

There was already a first major advance on Tuesday evening: Turkey gave up its resistance to the admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO. Turkey will support the invitation to Finland and Sweden to join the alliance during the NATO summit in Madrid, said Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. A corresponding memorandum was signed after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Also on Tuesday evening, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) and her Dutch counterpart Kasja Ollongren announced that the two countries would deliver six more models of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 to Ukraine. This means that Ukraine will now receive a total of 18 weapons systems – a large enough number for a complete artillery battalion.

After the G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria, Chancellor Scholz, US President Joe Biden and their colleagues from France, Great Britain, Italy and Canada traveled on to Madrid, where they attended a reception hosted by Spain’s King Felipe on the eve of the NATO summit for a gala -Dinner were loaded.

NATO summit begins in Madrid

The forthcoming deliberations of the 30 allies in Madrid will deal, among other things, with plans to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank and a new strategic concept. The current version of the strategic concept dates back to 2010. At that time, the Allies were still hoping that the time of great tension with Russia was over and were counting on a “real strategic partnership” with the country. China was also not mentioned at all, which is now to change.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is said to be temporarily connected via video on Wednesday. In a conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg before the summit, he called for a powerful missile defense system from NATO. Stoltenberg announced further aid to Ukraine to support the country’s self-defense.

Drastic increase in the rapid reaction force

In view of the Russian aggression, NATO wants to increase the number of its rapid reaction forces from around 40,000 to more than 300,000. The Allies want to discuss this conversion of the previous NATO intervention force NRF. She’s been on alert for months. The transformation is part of a new force model across the Alliance.