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Sweden, Finland on course to join Nato as Russia, China focus allies

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Mr Jens Stoltenberg delivering his opening speech on the first day of the Nato summit, on June 28, 2022.

PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (REUTERS) – China poses a challenge to Nato’s values and interests and the alliance has to take into account the consequences for its security from China’s investment in modern long-range weapons, Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday (June 29).

Speaking at the start of the second day of a Nato summit in Madrid, he also said he expected “a very important decision” concerning challenges faced by the alliance on its southern flank and on terrorism.

Mr Stoltenberg said he expected a swift ratification of Sweden and Finland’s membership of the military alliance.

“We will make a decision at the summit to invite Sweden and Finland to become members, that’s unprecedented quick,” he said.

Both countries applied for membership of the alliance in mid-May.

“After invitation, we need a ratification process in 30 parliaments,” he added.

“That always takes some time but I expect also that to go rather quickly because allies are ready to try to make that ratification process happen as quickly as possible.”

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