At the summit in Brussels on Monday afternoon, the leaders of thirty countries of the North Atlantic Alliance expressed solidarity with the Czech Republic and other countries affected by Russia’s hostilities. At the same time, they set out a new NATO strategy for the coming decade. The Czech Republic was represented at the meeting by President Miloš Zeman.
According to a joint statement by the heads of NATO countries, Moscow is increasingly threatening the security of NATO allies with provocative and destructive activity at their borders and on their territory.
“It also includes illegal and destructive activities by Russian Intelligence Services on Allied territory, some of which have claimed lives of citizens and caused widespread material damage. We stand in full solidarity with the Czech Republic and other Allies that have been affected in this way,” says the joint communiqué.
The North Atlantic Alliance needs to be better prepared for this in the future, says the summit’s final statement. At the same time, it calls on Moscow to remove Czechia and the United States from the list of hostile countries. Russia included both states on this list in mid-May.
Commenting on the newly adopted strategy, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO’s relations with Russia are the worst since the Cold War.
At the first meeting with the participation of US President Joe Biden, NATO leaders discussed, in addition to Russia, the global rise of China, the future of NATO operations after the summer departure from Afghanistan, but also the increase in defense spending.
Due to the pandemic, this year’s summit was significantly more modest than previous summits. Instead of attending a reception at the British Queen Elizabeth II like at the London summit the year before, leaders watched a roughly two-minute virtual presentation of NATO’s aforementioned 2030 new strategy.
Title image: Leaders pose during a family picture at the NATO headquarters where the 30-nation alliance hopes to reaffirm its unity and discuss increasingly tense relations with China and Russia, as the organization pulls its troops out after 18 years in Afghanistan, Monday June, 14, 2021. (Jacques Witt, Pool via AP)