NATO defense ministers discuss rearmament

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) – This Thursday (9.30 a.m.) the defense ministers of the 30 NATO countries are discussing outstanding issues in connection with the big summit meeting in Madrid at the end of June. At this meeting, the heads of state and government are to decide how the alliance will react to the threats posed by Russia’s war policy in the medium and long term. In addition, it is planned, among other things, to agree on an increase in community expenditure.

The talks between the defense ministers will specifically address, for example, strengthening the eastern flank with additional NATO troops. The Baltic states in particular are pushing for significantly greater support from allies after the Russian attack on Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) announced last week that Germany would again expand its troop presence in Lithuania.

The talks in Brussels are being overshadowed by the persistent refusal of alliance member Turkey to agree to the start of NATO accession talks with Finland and Sweden. The two countries had applied to join the defense alliance in mid-May. So far, however, Turkey has blocked the admission process and justifies its position with the alleged support of Finland and Sweden for “terrorist organizations” such as the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK./aha/DP/nas