On 16 June NATO Defence Ministers concluded two days of preparations for the upcoming Madrid Summit. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the Summit would address key areas including strengthened deterrence and defence; support for Ukraine and other partners at risk; a new NATO Strategic Concept; better burden-sharing and resourcing; and Finland and Sweden’s historic applications for membership.

On Wednesday evening, Allies met with Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov to discuss Ukraine’s urgent needs, and continued support by Allies and partners to help Ukraine defend against Moscow’s aggression.

“Allies have announced additional assistance, including much needed heavy weapons and long-range systems,” said Mr Stoltenberg. He highlighted that NATO is preparing a comprehensive assistance package for Ukraine, to help improve interoperability with NATO, transition from Soviet-era to modern NATO equipment, and further strengthen security institutions. Georgia, Finland, Sweden, and the European Union also joined the discussions. Mr Stoltenberg also welcomed yesterday’s US-led meeting of the Ukraine Support Contact Group.

On Thursday, Allied Ministers addressed the scale and design of NATO’s future posture. Mr Stoltenberg said: “This will mean more NATO forward deployed combat formations, to strengthen our battlegroups in the eastern part of our Alliance. More air, sea and cyber defences, as well as pre-positioned equipment and weapon stockpiles. And a new force model, with more forces at higher readiness, and specific forces pre-assigned to the defence of specific Allies, to enable much faster reinforcement.”

Mr Stoltenberg said ministers had also discussed the importance of resourcing. He recalled that there had been seven consecutive years of rising defence investment across European Allies and Canada, and that Allies have continued to contribute to NATO deployments, and invest more in high-end capabilities. Mr Stoltenberg said: “Now is the time to keep up the momentum. So we can continue to preserve peace, prevent conflict, and protect our people.”