Putin's worst nightmare as huge NATO summit to take place near Russia TODAY

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Russia’s war has been sparked on a belief NATO has been encroaching on its area of political influence by accepting new members from eastern Europe. The location of the NATO summit is significant. Lithuania shares a border with Belarus, a country whose President Alexander Lukashenko has forged an increasingly close relationship with Vladimir Putin. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly 2022 Spring Session, which will run until Monday, had been due to take place in Kyiv but has been moved to Vilnius, Lithuania.

NATO, which hopes to soon welcome Sweden and Finland as its newest members, said the event will demonstrate the “Assembly’s unwavering, steadfast support for Ukraine and the Alliance’s resolve to deter against any threat to NATO members and to defend every inch of NATO territory”.

The summit will see all 269 members of parliament from the current 30 NATO members and around 100 members from some 30 partner countries and parliamentary bodies all attend.

They will discuss “Russia’s renewed, full-scale invasion, Allied support to Ukraine and implications for NATO”, as well as “NATO’s broader adaptation and the revision of NATO’s Strategic Concept – which Allied Heads of State and Government are due to adopt at their Summit meeting in Madrid in June”.

Gerald Connolly, President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, will address the session’s Plenary Sitting on Monday, alongside senior representatives from the Lithuanian and Ukrainian governments and parliaments and NATO.

Speakers of the Parliaments of Finland and Sweden will also address delegates following their applications to join NATO.

The UK Government has said delegates are likely to debate and vote on a draft declaration that affirms the Assembly’s solidarity with Ukraine in addition to a draft declaration on confronting Russia’s threat.

Other key topics that will be discussed in Vilnius will include the lessons learned from NATO’s engagement in Afghanistan, challenges to stability in the Western Balkans and the Middle East and North Africa and the growing strategic importance of Asia and the Indo-Pacific.

They will also discuss the continued threat of terrorism, allied resistance efforts, cyber security and defence, strategic trade and corruption challenges, and the future of warfare.

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James Cleverly, the minister for Europe and North America at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, will provide a briefing to delegates ahead of the plenary session. He will also meet with the UK Ambassador to Lithuania.

The crucial summit comes after the UK and Lithuania this week signed a joint declaration that will look to build on bilateral defence and trade ties.

Ministers and NATO allies penned the accord to mark 100 years of bilateral relations between Britain and the eastern European nation in a move accelerated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The UK Government said as NATO allies, the deal will build on the current defence co-operation the countries share, while increasing resistance to potentially dangerous threats, including from the likes of Russia and China.

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, speaking at the signing of the joint declaration, said: “The UK and Lithuania are two countries which believe in freedom and sovereignty, and who stand up to authoritarian regimes in Europe and across the world.

“We stand together with Ukraine in the face of Russia’s illegal, barbaric war.

“I have immense admiration and respect for Lithuania and I am delighted that today we are deepening our defence and security relationship, and forging greater opportunities for trade and investment through this joint declaration.”



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