NATO leaders are convening for the final day of the military alliance’s summit in Madrid, where they’ve declared Russia a major threat and pledged even more support for Ukraine’s military. On Wednesday, NATO formally invited Finland and Sweden to join, after Turkey dropped its objection to the move. This comes as the Biden administration has publicly announced it would support the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. On Wednesday, Russian President Vladmir Putin warned against NATO deploying troops or weapons to Finland and Sweden.
President Vladimir Putin: “There’s nothing that might concern us in terms of Finland and Sweden becoming NATO members. If they want to, please go ahead. But they should clearly understand that they didn’t face any threats before this. Now, if NATO troops and infrastructure are deployed, we will be compelled to respond in kind.”
This all comes as Russia’s war in Ukraine enters its 18th week and as NATO described China for the first time as a “systemic challenge to Euro-Atlantic security.”