Press Advisories

29. 6. 2022 18:55

NATO leaders approve new strategic concept at the Madrid summit

Joint photo of the leaders of the North Atlantic Alliance countries, 29 June 2022. Source: NATO.
Joint photo of the leaders of the North Atlantic Alliance countries, 29 June 2022. Source: NATO.
The presidents and prime ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) countries meet at the NATO Summit in Madrid on 29 and 30 June 2022. They adopted a new NATO Strategic Concept, agreed to sign accession protocols with Finland and Sweden, and discussed further development of the Alliance and the strengthening of its eastern wing in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine and other threats. The Czech Republic was represented at the meeting by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, Minister of Defence Jana Černochová and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský.

The new strategic concept clearly reflects the Alliance's approach towards Russia. In the previous concept from 2010, Russia was treated as a partner, but now, as a result of the aggression in Ukraine, Russia has become a direct security threat.

"From the Czech Republic's point of view, the new strategic concept is absolutely correct. We appreciate that it talks about Russia as a direct threat to security, but it also describes other threats, including China. So the strategic concept responds to current developments in the world. It is a good starting material for the coming years and we will certainly continue to work on it as the situation develops," Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said.

The Alliance countries also agreed to sign accession protocols with Finland and Sweden after Turkey withdrew its objections to both countries joining the Alliance. "Finland and Sweden have received official invitations to join NATO. All the obstacles to Finland and Sweden's entry have been removed. This is important news, indeed historic news, not only for the two Nordic countries, but for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the security of Europe. This is exactly the opposite of what Vladimir Putin said he wanted to achieve," the Prime Minister said.

The leaders also discussed strengthening the eastern wing of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. They agreed that strengthening it was crucial and approved the relevant document governing the way forward. NATO has also committed to provide sufficient forces to reinforce the eastern wing depending on how the situation develops further. "There was a clear support for Ukraine, so we need to continue to support Ukraine financially and militarily. And there were also clear words about the need to stop Russia in its aggressive politics. That is why we have agreed to strengthen the eastern wing of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation so that we will be able to protect every inch of the territory of NATO member states," Prime Minister Fiala said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky joined the meeting of NATO leaders via video-conference. He called on NATO member states to provide Ukraine with additional weapons and money needed for its defence. He also called for the continuation of the Alliance's open door policy.

On Thursday, NATO leaders also discussed the situation on the southern wing of the Alliance. They also discussed the risks of a looming food crisis, which could be another consequence of Russian aggression in Ukraine. "I will also participate in the signing of the new North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Innovation Fund, a project to invest €1 billion in start-ups dedicated to the arms industry and companies operating in this field. The Czech Republic will undoubtedly benefit from this in the future," Prime Minister Fiala said.

The Prime Minister recalled that at the summit the Czech Republic had signed up to the commitment to achieve a defence budget of two percent of GDP before 2025. "We are aware of the security situation in Europe and what individual Member States have to do, so the Czech Republic is also committed to accelerating this commitment and wants to achieve it by 2024. Regarding funding, the Czech Republic supports the increase in joint financing of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation because it serves as a means to increase the Alliance's operational capacity and to respond to new challenges," Prime Minister Fiala said.

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