NATO defense ministers made progress on preparing for Madrid summit: Alliance chief

Jens Stoltenberg commends again Türkiye’s efforts in opening export corridor for Ukrainian grain.

NATO defense ministers made progress on preparing for Madrid summit: Alliance chief

NATO defense ministers made progress in preparing a transformative leaders’ summit to be held later this month, the NATO chief said on Thursday.

Speaking at a news conference closing the two-day meeting, Stoltenberg said NATO defense ministers “made progress on many” of the key topics of the leaders’ summit to be held on June 29-30 in Madrid.

He explained that the “Madrid summit will be transformative” with important decisions in key areas such as strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defense and sustaining support for Ukraine and other partners at risk.

The reforms include a new deployment model with “more forces at higher readiness,” including more forward-deployed combat formations to strengthen NATO battle groups in the eastern flanks and in air, sea, and cyber defenses, as well as pre-positioned equipment and weapons stockpiles, Stoltenberg asserted.

The leaders are also expected to adopt NATO’s new strategic concept that adapts to the modern security environment, including the Russian threat, and for the first time, the emerging challenge of China, he added.

They are also meant to agree on better burden-sharing in NATO and increased military investments.

Repeating his previous comments, Stoltenberg said: “I commend efforts by Türkiye and President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan to try to find a solution to get the grain out of Ukraine” and counter the increase in global food prices.

He also said NATO allies take seriously Türkiye's “legitimate concerns” related to the fight against terrorism in the context of Sweden’s and Finland’s membership applications, and that they are working “actively to find a solution.”

Hüseyin Demir