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NATO leaders meet in Washington

Newsman: NATO opens the summit on Tuesday, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the military alliance. United States President Joe Biden is hosting leaders of NATO.The summit, which will be held from Tuesday to Thursday, is largely expected to focus on reassuring Ukraine of the alliance’s unwavering support.

Though NATO leaders, including US President Biden, have in the past promised not to drag the alliance into the Russia-Ukraine conflict and have restricted Ukraine from using weapons provided by its allies on targets inside Russia. But in May, Biden for the first time permitted Kyiv to use US-supplied weapons to strike targets inside Russia close to Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, which sits 40km (25 miles) from the Russian border.

NATO Countries are expected to pledge new military and economic support at the summit. Billions of dollars have already been sent to Ukraine, and officials say more is coming. Outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday that contributions of roughly $43 billion per year should be the baseline moving ahead.

During a visit to the Pentagon on Monday, NATO chief Stoltenberg said the week’s focus will be on securing additional defense commitments and trying to get the war in Ukraine to an end.

“At the summit we will make decisions to further strengthen our support for Ukraine, and the Russians understand that they will not be able to wait us out,” the NATO chief said. “They need to sit down and accept a solution where Ukraine remains a sovereign nation.”

In a White House news briefing on Monday, Biden security adviser Mike Carpenter told reporters that NATO allies are expected to announce new support for Ukraine, including renewed funding of 40 billion euros ($43.2bn) over the next year in addition to millions pledged bilaterally by NATO countries. Allies are also expected to announce the launch of a military command station in Germany that is expected to boost Ukrainian forces with training and equipment.

The outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and the leaders of other NATO countries, who will include German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and, for the first time, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson is attending the summit.

Leaders from NATO partner countries will also be present. Partner nations are restricted from joining the alliance because of Article 10 of its treaty, which limits new members to Europe. Leaders of partner countries expected at the summit include:Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy, Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan,Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese,President Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea,New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon,European Union leaders, including Charles Michel, head of the European Council, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

Foreign and defense ministers as well as other senior officials from NATO countries and their partners will also be present.

NATO was formed during the Cold War in 1949 to counter threats posed by the Soviet Union. Article 5 of its founding treaty commits members to a collective military defence, under which an attack on one member is considered an attack on all, and effectively keeps its enemies at bay. The alliance has since grown from  12 members to 32 with its newest member, Sweden, joining in March.

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