New Telegraph

Russia Sets To Respond To New NATO Accessions

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov has said that Russia is taking “appropriate” and timely measures in response to the possible accession of Sweden and Ukraine to the NATO military alliance.

Speaking at an ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in Jakarta while the NATO summit was underway in Vilnius, Lavrov said Russia would protect its own “legitimate security interests,” without elaborating.

Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership last year, abandoning their policies of military non-alignment that had lasted through the decades of the Cold War in response to activities in Ukraine.

Turkey’s government will hold talks with its nationalist parliamentary ally on ratifying Sweden’s NATO accession, a senior official said on Wednesday after the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) appeared to take a negative view on the issue.

MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said on Tuesday that Sweden had failed to distance itself from terrorism, but added that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would make the final call about Sweden’s membership bid.

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On Monday, Erdogan agreed to forward to parliament Sweden’s bid to join the NATO military alliance.

Turkey’s parliament is due to close at the end of this week for a summer recess and an immediate ratification would require Erdogan to request the extension of the parliament’s closing date.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Wednesday he welcomed that Japan and (NATO) had agreed on a new partnership program, ahead of his attendance at the summit.

At a joint announcement with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, Kishida said he looked forward to furthering cooperation in new areas including cyber-security, and hoped to deepen cooperation with NATO as it increases its engagement with the Indo-Pacific.

The Chinese mission to the EU said China resolutely opposed NATO’s “eastward movement into the Asia-Pacific region” and warned any action threatening Beijing’s rights would be met with a resolute response.

China also responded to a NATO summit communique claiming that Beijing challenged the military alliance’s interests, security, and values.

The Chinese mission to the European Union said in a statement the communique disregarded basic facts, distorted China’s position and policies, and deliberately discredited China.

“We firmly oppose and reject this,” it said.

Stoltenberg told reporters at the summit that while China was not a NATO “adversary” but was “increasingly challenging the rules-based international order” and “carrying out a substantial military build-up.”

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