NATO leaders are gathering in Brussels on Monday to hold their first in-person summit since 2018, with Russia and China high on the agenda, according to the alliance's top official.
"Leaders will discuss a wide range of issues, among them Russia and our relationship with Russia, which is its lowest point since the end of the Cold War due to Russia's aggressive actions," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on his way to the summit.
According to Stoltenberg, the summit will be a great opportunity for NATO leaders to exchange views on these issues ahead of a meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva slated for Wednesday.
Stoltenberg also said that the leaders would address the military alliance's strategy vis-a-vis the rising power of China, posing challenges and opportunities at the same time.
NATO should cooperate with the Asian country on arms control and the fight against climate change, Stoltenberg explained.
The allied leaders will also discuss the "ambitious and forward-looking NATO 2030 agenda," which seeks to extend the concept of security by tackling challenges of climate change, focusing on resilience and technological development.
Asked about NATO's withdrawal from Afghanistan, Stoltenberg said the alliance was now working on "how we can provide out-of-conflict-training for Afghan security forces" and to "maintain support for the critical infrastructure, including the [Kabul] airport."
"NATO is planning to provide support, also some NATO allies are now in direct dialogue, including the US and Turkey," he said, highlighting that NATO's backing of Afghanistan was also "important for NATO allies and the international community."