NATO ‘prepared for all eventualities’ as Russian President Vladimir Putin articulates new threats

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says his organization is “prepared for all eventualities” should Russia retaliate against Finland and Sweden for joining NATO.

At a historic NATO summit in Madrid, Sweden and Finland were invited to join the security alliance after Turkey dropped its opposition to the admission of the two countries.

After the decision was made, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent one of his trademark veiled threats to NATO, Sweden and Finland.

“They need to understand clearly that they haven’t had any threats before,” he said.

“If NATO troops and infrastructure are deployed, we will be forced to respond in kind and create the same threats to the areas from which threats against us are created.”

Mr Stoltenberg told a media conference on the last day of the Madrid summit that the two countries were sovereign nations that had made their own choices to join the alliance.

“The most important thing for us is that Finland and Sweden join the alliance,” he said.

The world has changed: Biden

Joe Biden gestures as he speaks at a press conference.
US President Joe Biden said both the world and NATO are changing.Reuters: Yves Herman

During his final speech to the summit, US President Joe Biden said the world had changed in the 12 years since NATO last issued a mission statement — at the time, Russia was characterized as a “strategic partner” of the alliance.

“NATO is also changing,” he said.

“At this summit, we brought together our alliances to address both the direct threats Russia poses to Europe and the systemic challenges China poses to a rules-based world order.

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