Selensky invited

NATO summit in the USA begins with 75th anniversary celebrations

09.07.2024 16:42

A three-day summit of the defense alliance begins on Tuesday in Washington with celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of NATO. At the top-level meeting in the US capital, the heads of state and government of the 32 member states want to discuss the expansion of deterrence and defense as well as further support for Ukraine. There will also be talks on further dealings with China and more cooperation between NATO and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

In addition to the heads of state and government of the alliance states, numerous guests are also expected to attend the meeting, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selensky. Representatives from the European Union, Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand will also take part. According to the Foreign Ministry, Austria will not be attending the NATO summit for "scheduling reasons" despite having been invited.

Scholz is not worried about Biden
Before the start of the meeting, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz once again assured Ukraine of his long-term support against the Russian war of aggression. When asked whether he was worried that 81-year-old US President Joe Biden might be overwhelmed by the stresses and strains of the three-day meeting, Scholz replied: "No, I'm not worried about that." From his many conversations with Biden, he knows "that he has prepared this summit very well and very precisely together with us", the Chancellor emphasized. "In this respect, it will also be a very successful summit."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (left) and US President Joe Biden at a meeting in Washington (Bild: Associated Press)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (left) and US President Joe Biden at a meeting in Washington

Kremlin: NATO has declared Russia an enemy
Meanwhile, Russia intends to closely monitor the course of the NATO summit, according to its own statements. Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the presidential office in Moscow, emphasized this on Tuesday and pointed out that the transatlantic alliance had declared Russia to be an enemy that must be defeated. The Russian government considers NATO to be fully involved in Ukraine, Peskov told journalists.

Dealing with China will also be a topic
Before the start of the summit, China criticized NATO for its actions in the Asia-Pacific region and called on the defence alliance to rethink. Beijing opposes NATO's slander and rejects its use of China as an excuse to advance into the Asia-Pacific region and cause tensions there, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian in Beijing. The top-level meeting in the US capital is to discuss further dealings with China and increased NATO cooperation with partners in the Indo-Pacific.

In June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused China of trying to give the impression to the outside world that it was holding back in the conflict in order to avoid sanctions and keep trade flowing. "But the reality is that China is fueling the biggest armed conflict in Europe since the Second World War," he said. At the same time, Beijing wants to maintain good relations with the West, he said. "Well, Beijing can't have it both ways," he said. At some point, the allies would have to impose costs if China did not change course.

Two absent people will have a say in summit
Two people who are not even present will have a say in what happens: Russian President Vladimir Putin and has given the Western defense alliance a second spring with his military aggression against Ukraine. The other is Donald Trump, whose chances of becoming US president again have increased in recent weeks. In his first term in office, he had already threatened to withdraw from NATO because he felt that the defense spending of European allies was too low.

The incumbent US President Biden did not fare particularly well in the TV duel on CNN. (Bild: Getty Images/SCOTT OLSON)
The incumbent US President Biden did not fare particularly well in the TV duel on CNN.

Trump's possible re-election is also a cause for concern because of Ukraine: the Republican repeatedly claimed during the US election campaign that he would be able to end the Russian war of aggression in 24 hours. However, it is clear that he does not want to help Ukraine win against Russia with additional military support.

Ukraine: Trump is said to be planning a dangerous breach of taboo
The online portal "Politico" reported, citing people close to the Republican, that Trump is considering a kind of deal in which NATO commits to not expanding further eastwards. At the same time, he wants to negotiate with Putin about how much Ukrainian territory Moscow can keep. From the point of view of most European countries, such an approach would be an outrageous and dangerous breach of taboo. Putin could then chalk up his war as a success and be tempted into further aggression.

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