Highlights from this week’s NATO summit

The annual NATO summit wrapped up on Wednesday, amid a flurry of photo ops and eager hand-shaking. Leaders from 37 countries + the EU attended the conference in Latvia, including almost-member Sweden, plus non-members Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Georgia, South Korea and Ukraine.

Although brief, the two-day summit was pretty eventful:

  • 🇸🇪Turkey finally let Sweden join, though President Erdoğan is now saying Turkey’s lawmakers won’t be able to rubber-stamp it all until they’re back from break in October (gotta love that work-life balance).
  • 🇺🇦 Ukraine was frustrated by NATO’s reluctance to provide a firm timeline for its accession, so President Zelensky fired off a rather fiery tweet which reportedly left the US delegation furious.
  • 📢And the summit’s epic 11,000 word statement devoted plenty of text to Russia (the region’s “most significant and direct threat”) and China (due to its “stated ambitions and coercive policies”). NATO has become pretty direct in calling out adversaries in recent years.

Intrigue’s take: The alliance has an ‘open door’ policy, but that doesn’t mean you walk in like it’s a Walmart. Ukraine’s biggest (though not only) hurdle is the fact it’s at war with a nuclear power right now; and NATO members don’t want to take on a treaty obligation to enter that war directly.

So for now, NATO is supporting Ukraine in other ways. And notwithstanding some summit fireworks this week, that pledge still looks pretty rock solid.

Also worth noting:

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