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12 NATO states discuss strengthening eastern flank and Ukraine's defence capability

Monday, 22 May 2023, 21:24
12 NATO states discuss strengthening eastern flank and Ukraine's defence capability
Photo: Getty Images

Defence ministers and senior defence officials from 12 NATO member states met in Poland on Monday, 22 May, to discuss Ukraine’s defence capability and strengthening security on the Alliance’s eastern flank, ahead of NATO’s July summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Source: Associated Press

Details: Defence officials met at military facilities in Legionowo, near Warsaw, as part of the so-called Northern Group, a platform concerned with developing security initiatives for NATO and the European Union. Finland participated for the first time since joining NATO.


The Northern Group was initiated in 2010 by the UK, and includes the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Poland, and the three Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia).

After the meeting, Poland’s Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said the "very good" talks were focused on coordinating ways of ensuring the security of the 12 northern European countries.

He stressed Poland’s successful cooperation with the UK and Sweden (the latter is Poland’s neighbour across the Baltic Sea), saying they share similar views on threats coming from Russia, which continues to wage its war on Ukraine.

"We are looking for joint solutions to ensure security," Blaszczak said.

Defence officials also discussed preparations for the July NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, and Poland’s proposals for it, Blaszczak said.

Ukraine’s NATO membership prospects are expected to be decided during the July summit.

Background: The Polish Senate has adopted a resolution supporting Ukraine's accelerated accession to NATO.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said that Ukraine would not settle for any decision other than real steps towards its NATO membership during the Vilnius summit.

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