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NATO ministers to discuss long-term strategy on Russia

NATO foreign ministers are to meet in Berlin, Germany, this weekend to discuss their long-term strategy, together with potential NATO prospects Finland and Sweden.

NATO foreign ministers are to meet in Berlin, Germany, this weekend to discuss their long-term strategy, together with potential NATO prospects Finland and Sweden.

NATO has seen a sharp rise in its geopolitical relevance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and could soon get new members.

The Berlin meeting comes days after the leaders of long-neutral Finland endorsed NATO membership. Neighbouring Sweden is expected to announce its decision to join in the coming days.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto are expected to take part in the meeting.

The two-day meeting, hosted by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is to kick off the final phase of negotiations on NATO’s Strategic Concept, its guiding document for the years ahead.

The concept is expected to provide a long-term response to the mounting tensions with Russia, including a clarification on how to further reinforce NATO’s presence in eastern Europe and, for the first time, guidance on China.

The final draft is to be adopted by NATO leaders at their upcoming summit meeting in Madrid in June.

The question of how to respond to the consequences of the Russian war was also at the centre of discussions during a meeting of the top diplomats of the G7 industrialized countries held in northern Germany on Friday and Saturday.

Ukraine‘s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, who joined the G7 ministers, warned against a breakdown in negotiations on an embargo on Russian oil.

Britain spoke at the meeting in favour of providing Ukraine with more arms.

The EU announced on Friday plans to provide Ukrainian armed forces with an additional €500 million ($520 million), to be approved by the EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.

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