NATO summit in Madrid

The Atlantic Alliance is facing major challenges in the fields of security, defense and the economy at a time when the war in Ukraine has raised tensions between the West and Russia, reconfiguring the international scene. In this context, Madrid hosts June 29 and 30 at the IFEMA fairgrounds a decisive summit for NATOwhere the allies will propose future strategies to deal with uncertainties.

On the eve of the event, Newscast 2 has analyzed with several experts how the Alliance adopts a new strategic concept and the security threats it faces in a special presented by Carlos Franganillo and which has featured the TVE correspondent in Brussels, Marta Carazo, and reports by Anna Bosch in Sweden and Finland , to analyze your application for NATO membership.

Suwalki, NATO’s ‘Achilles curtain’

The invasion of Ukraine has put the member countries that were part of the USSR or the Soviet orbit on guard, since they fear an open confrontation with Russia. In this situation there is a particularly sensitive point, the so-called Suwalki corridor or NATO’s ‘Achilles curtain’.

This 96-kilometer strip of territory on the border between Lithuania and Poland is strategic, because it is opposite Kaliningrad, a highly militarized Russian territory, and because it is the only land communication route between the Baltic countries and the rest of Europe. Now, the war conflict has multiplied the tension in the areawhich has encouraged the emergence of volunteer militias, such as the Union of Lithuanian Riflemen.

Suwalki, NATO’s fragile point

73 years of Alliance

United States and its European partners created NATO in 1949, an organization with which 12 countries on both sides of the Atlantic agree to defend each other. In 1991, after having new adhesions and with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, a security plan with less reliance on nuclear weapons and with a reduction in the Alliance’s integrated military forces.

Shortly after, countries that belonged to the former USSR or to the Soviet orbit were added, such as Poland or the Baltics, something that Putin perceived as a Western betrayal of Russia and a strategic weakness for Moscow.

This is how NATO has grown since its creation

Javier Solana: “An adaptation to the new world is going to come out”

With the increase in tension and the war in Ukraine, NATO has begun to achieve greater unity among partners and has received even with new membership requests, such as those of Sweden and Finland. We have talked about all this with the only Spaniard who has led NATO, Javier Solana.

“What is going to come out without a doubt is an adaptation to what we know today of the new world and what we project it could be. The situation of war between Russia and Ukraine is fundamental for what is going to happen these days in the Alliance”, has pointed out in reference to the summit in Madrid. In his opinion, it will be necessary to leave “very clear signals” that NATO will continue to defend its members “with all the force it can if they are attacked.”

Solana: “If Ukraine wants to be in NATO and meets the conditions, there is no reason to say no”

Regarding relations with Russia, he assured that “at the moment it is very difficult to talk about reconstruction, but we are not against russiawe are against Putin”. “We live together, therefore, a close relationship must always be had with Russia”, Solana said.

Finland and Sweden, closer to NATO

Yes Finland enters as a full member of NATO, the Western Military Alliance will receive a nation trained to resist an invasion and will double its border with Russia. The two countries share 1,340 kilometers of land border and centuries of history with complex relations, which are reflected in the Saimaa Canal, a waterway that dates back to the Russian empire and that is still operational today, although now with little activity for the war in Ukraine.

Finland, closer to NATO: 1,340 kilometers of border with Russia and centuries of complex relations

Finland’s neutrality was imposed by its commitments to the Soviet Union. It is not the case of Sweden, the other country that has turned its tradition around and has asked to join NATO. This Nordic country is proud to have gone 200 years without going to war, and with the fall of the USSR it convinced that peace was guaranteed. Nevertheless, began to collaborate more and more closely with NATO.

The island of Gotland, a strategic point for Sweden before the possible entry into NATO

Russia sees NATO as a threat

The Kremlin’s narrative is completely opposite to that of the Alliance. Justifies the invasion a response to an alleged Ukrainian threat for its approach to the West in fear that it would become a NATO platform 500 km from Moscow. The new strategic approach that will emerge from the Madrid summit is seen by Russia as an attempt to weaken the country.

The economy and energy, key points

The role of energy marks everything in Europe and becomes a decisive element in the economy. The TVE newscast has spoken with journalists who ply their trade in Brussels: Nacho Alarcón, from El Confidencial, María Tadeo, from Bloomberg and Marta Carazo, from TVE.

In this scenario of great tension with Moscow, sanctions and rising energy prices, it is “almost a perfect storm for Europe”, explains María Tadeo, from Bloomberg: “It is exposed to Russia, which can cut off gas”. “I think that in the next few weeks, probably even here in NATO, we will see that the political message now is a war economy and above all asking the consumer to consume less,” she adds.

Journalists in Brussels analyze the energy situation in Europe

600 displaced soldiers in Latvia

NATO wants to strengthen itself especially in the countries that border Russia, as a message to Moscow. A TVE team has gone to Latvia, to the Adazi Combat Group base, where there are 600 Spanish soldiers. As a result of the war in Ukraine, Spain has increased its contingents and is currently the country with the most capabilities in the NATO ‘eFP’ mission in Latvia.

Spain, in NATO missions

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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