He didn’t say when and how the equipment would be delivered but said, “It is in everyone’s interest that it is delivered as quickly as possible.”
Sweden was invited at a NATO summit this week to join the Western military alliance.
— US boosting military presence in Europe amid Russia threat
— NATO calls Russia its ‘ most significant and direct threat ’
— NATO pivots to highlight Chinese ‘challenges’ for 1st time
— Explainer: How was Turkey’s veto of Nordic NATO bid avoided?
Italian Premier Mario Draghi is skipping the last day of the NATO summit in Madrid amid simmering tensions in his coalition government.
Draghi’s office said the premier will attend a Cabinet meeting in the Italian capital on Thursday. Measures to bring relief for high consumer energy bills and government spending top the Cabinet’s agenda.
Draghi’s abrupt departure came amid tension in his wide-ranging unity coalition, assembled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
His predecessor, populist 5-Star Movement leader Giuseppe Conte, has been seething over issues including Draghi’s staunch support for more military aid for Ukraine.
The 5-Stars are themselves in turmoil after Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio broke with the Movement last week, forming his own pro-Draghi political group, with an eye to national elections next year.
Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini is standing in for Draghi in Madrid.
Britain is sending 1 billion pounds’ ($1.21 billion) worth of military support to Ukraine, bringing its total military and economic support since the start of the war to 3.8 billion pounds.
The government said the new money is for equipment including air defense systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and electronic warfare equipment.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged allies at a NATO summit in Madrid on Thursday to “dig deep” in support of Ukraine.
Britain is the second-largest contributor of military support to Ukraine, after the United States. It is also one of only nine of the 30 NATO members meeting the alliance’s target of spending 2% of GDP on defense.
NATO leaders are arriving at a conference center in Madrid for the third and final day of their annual summit.
The 30-member alliance is due to wrap up its talks with a working session on security concerns for its southern flank, namely in unstable areas of North Africa and the Middle East.
On Wednesday, NATO nations pledged their continued support for Ukraine in its efforts to resist Russia’s invasion. It also issued an updated Strategic Concept, the document which lays out its top security concerns for the coming decade, where it named Russia as its top threat and added China for the first time.
NATO has also announced that it will boost its rapid response forces for Eastern Europe, increasing them from 40,000 to 300,000 troops ready to react to any attack by Russia against NATO territory.
The alliance has also cleared the path for Sweden and Finland to become new members after overcoming Turkey’s misgivings.
BRUSSELS — China has reacted to NATO naming it as a security challenge by calling the Western military alliance a “Cold War remnant” that is “smearing” Beijing’s international reputation.
On Wednesday, NATO issued its updated Strategic Concept, the document that lays out its top security threats for the coming decade. While Russia was named its top threat, NATO included China for the first time.
It said that China “strives to subvert the rules-based international order, including in the space, cyber and maritime domains” and warned of its close ties with Moscow.
A statement released by China’s Mission to the European Union on Thursday responded: “Since NATO positions China as a ‘systemic challenge,’ we have to pay close attention and respond in a coordinated way. When it comes to acts that undermine China’s interests, we will make firm and strong responses.”
China insisted that it promotes peace through its collaboration with the United Nations and its foreign development projects.
It called the 30-nation alliance a source of instability.
“NATO claims itself to be a defensive organization that upholds the rules-based international order, but it has bypassed the U.N. Security Council and waged wars against sovereign states, creating huge casualties and leaving tens of millions displaced,” it said.