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NATO demands Russia withdraw immediately as Sweden and Finland formally invited to join

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NATO has demanded that Russia withdraw from Ukraine immediately, the same day it formally invited Sweden and Finland to join the organisation.

The announcement came in a declaration from the organisation which is meeting in Madrid on June 29.

Setting out a blueprint for threats and challenges, NATO told Russia that it must withdraw from Ukraine immediately saying the invasion of its neighbour “gravely undermines international security and stability” – and is a “blatant violation of international law”.

Promising to “defend every inch” of its territory NATO outlined a “deterrence and defence posture” based on a mix of “nuclear, conventional and missile defence capabilities”.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the new Strategic Concept represented a “fundamental shift in our defence” and that it was the “first time since the Cold War” that such plans have been in force.

The newly published Strategic Concept describes China as a challenge to “our interests, security, and values”, and said Beijing “strives to subvert the rules-based international order, including in the space, cyber and maritime domains”.

Included in the new strategic concept are:

  • Plans to strengthen forward defences
    • Enhancement of the presence on the eastern flank
    • Increased high-readiness forces numbers to more than 300,000
    • increased capability to reinforce any ally
    • Strengthened command and control

Sky News reported that NATO had announced that: “Today, we have decided to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO, and agreed to sign the accession protocols.

“We welcome the conclusion of the trilateral memorandum between Turkey, Finland, and Sweden to that effect.

“The accession of Finland and Sweden will make them safer, NATO stronger, and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure.

“The security of Finland and Sweden is of direct importance to the Alliance, including during the accession process.”

The announcement came after Turkey dropped its objection to membership for the two organisations, whose membership application will now go to all 30 member states’ parliaments and legislatures for final ratification.

According to CNN NATO’s leaders said they expected the process to move quickly, allowing for an unprecedentedly swift accession and a show of unity against Putin. “A hundred and twenty-six days of full-scale invasion of Ukraine; cruise missiles, torture, children murdered, women raped… We do not have 10 years. Do you have them? Are you really sure about that?”

The NATO demand that Russia withdraw immediately has been welcome by Ukraine, who also hailed the new Strategic Concept. The formal invitation to Sweden and Finland to join NATO will not go down well in the Kremlin with Russia having warned the countries not to do so.


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Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.



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