NATO Summit Concludes with Focus on China, North Korea Support for Russia

US President Joe Biden and his NATO counterparts convened on Thursday to hold talks with Asia-Pacific leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskky. The discussions centered around growing concerns regarding China and North Korea’s support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This summit marks a significant moment as NATO labelled China a “decisive enabler” of Russia’s war against Ukraine, highlighting the alliance’s concerns about China’s role in the conflict.

In response, China accused NATO of seeking security at the expense of others and warned the military alliance against bringing “chaos” to Asia. Amidst these tensions, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized the global nature of security, welcoming South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to the summit. He stated, “We appreciate the close partnership with your country, and not least because our security is not regional, it is global.”

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell underscored the importance of engaging all partners in discussions to ensure stability, particularly as China strengthens its ties with Russia. He highlighted that China’s support for Russia and North Korea’s role as a key supplier of raw materials to Russia pose significant threats to global stability. Borrell also noted the maritime border tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, recognizing their potential to destabilize the entire area.

The summit witnessed the participation of key Asia-Pacific nations, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea. Zelenskky joined allied leaders for a NATO-Ukraine Council, a platform established a year ago to facilitate dialogue and information sharing between the 32 allies and Kyiv.

In a significant development, NATO leaders affirmed Ukraine’s “irreversible path” to membership, although they emphasized that accession would only occur after the war and upon meeting all the required conditions. The summit’s conclusion coincided with a missile attack on Ukraine’s largest children’s hospital, underscoring the continued threat posed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

Many allies committed to providing increased military support to Ukraine, and NATO launched a new program aimed at facilitating the delivery of military equipment and coordinating training for Ukraine’s armed forces. NATO members also pledged to maintain current levels of military aid, which amounts to approximately 40 billion euros ($43.5 billion) annually, for at least the next year. This commitment underscores the alliance’s unwavering support for Ukraine in its struggle against Russian aggression.

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