China declared a ‘threat; Anthony Albanian responds, Vladimir Putin warns alliance against expansion to Sweden, Finland

It also formally invited Finland and Sweden to join after Turkey vetoed their membership applications late on Tuesday. Russian President Vladimir Putin then repeated his warnings that Russia would respond in kind if NATO deploys troops and infrastructure in long-neutral Finland and Sweden.

The US and Britain are deploying new troops to Eastern Europe as part of the largest scale-up of NATO defenses since the Cold War in response to Russia’s attacks on its neighbor, increasing the number of Allied soldiers on high-preparedness. has increased seven times to 300,000.

NATO guests: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, at the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain.

NATO guests: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, at the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain.Credit:AP

It is a message to reassure allies on the alliance’s eastern flank that their security concerns are understood.

The new deployment comes on top of the more than 100,000 US troops currently stationed in Europe, which had already increased by about 20,000 since Putin invaded Ukraine four months ago.

“We are sending a strong message to Putin: ‘You will not win,’” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a speech.

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President Joe Biden said the US would bolster its presence in Europe “to defend every inch of Allied territory,” establish a permanent headquarters in Poland, send 5,000 additional troops to Romania and start the rotational deployment in the Baltics. to feed.

Other NATO states are expected to announce increases in defense spending and additional deployments on Thursday (AEST), as well as agree to additional military aid to Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the challenges are “too great for any nation or organization to face alone”.

Speaking to Russian state television after the alliance invited Finland and Sweden to join, Putin said: “With Sweden and Finland, we don’t have the problems we have with Ukraine. They want to join NATO, go ahead. But they must understand that before there was no threat, while now, as military contingents and infrastructure are deployed there, we must respond in kind and create the same threats to the areas from which threats are created against us.

“Everything was good between us, but now there may be some tensions, there will certainly be,” he said. “It is inevitable if there is a threat to us.”

The new planning document provided the basis for the Allies to plan for Beijing’s transformation from a benign trading partner to a burgeoning competitor in issues from the Arctic to cyberspace, and reaffirmed the collective defense alliance “against all threats from all directions”.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press conference at the NATO summit.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press conference at the NATO summit.Credit:AP

Unlike Russia, whose war has raised serious concerns in the Baltic states over an attack on NATO territory, China is not an adversary, world leaders said.

However, Stoltenberg repeatedly called on Beijing to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine, which Moscow says is a “special operation”.

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“China is not an adversary, but of course we have to consider the implications for our security when we see China investing heavily in new modern military capabilities, long-range missiles, nuclear weapons and also trying to control critical infrastructure, for example 5G networks in our own countries. ,” he said.

Albanian warned China to heed the lessons of the conflict in Ukraine and distance itself from Russia.

“China should look at what is happening, look at the outcome that is happening around the world, and should condemn Russia’s actions,” he said earlier. on the sidelines of the summit.

Earlier, he told NATO leaders that Beijing and Moscow shared a “lack of democratic values”, and stated that the growing closeness of the two nations posed a risk to all democracies.

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“Just as Russia wants to recreate a Russian or Soviet empire, the Chinese government is seeking friends, whether it be … through economic support to build alliances to undermine what historically has been the Western alliance in places like the Indo- Pacific,” he said. said.

In a customary sharp rebuke, the state-run China daily newspaper published an editorial on Wednesday criticizing the prime minister: “It’s hard to believe that the new Australian leader can be so misinformed as to change China’s stance on the crisis in Ukraine. do not know. who has clarified it on multiple occasions, or that he may be so ignorant as to not understand the status of Taiwan.”

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said NATO should “stop trying to screw up Asia and the world after ruining Europe”.

“They also need to stop trying to launch another Cold War. What they should do is give up their mindset about the Cold War, zero-sum games, and stop doing things that create enemies,” said Zhao Lijian.

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