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As NATO expands with Sweden and Finland, Putin slams ‘imperial’ alliance

22 11 4

MADRID, Spain (AFP) — The United States vowed to reinforce Europe’s defenses in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as NATO declared Moscow the West’s greatest threat — prompting Vladimir Putin to lash out at the alliance’s “imperial ambitions.”

Meeting in Madrid Wednesday, NATO leaders said Russia “is the most significant and direct threat to allies’ security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.”

This came as NATO officially invited Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, and US President Joe Biden announced new deployments of US troops, ships and planes.

Biden said that the US move was exactly what Russian President Putin “didn’t want” — and Moscow, facing fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces equipped with Western arms, reacted with predictable fury.

Putin accused the alliance of seeking to assert its “supremacy,” telling journalists in the Turkmenistan capital of Ashgabat that Ukraine and its people are “a means” for NATO to “defend their own interests.”

“The NATO countries’ leaders wish to… assert their supremacy, their imperial ambitions,” the Russian president added.

NATO leaders have funneled billions of dollars of arms to Ukraine and faced a renewed appeal from President Volodymyr Zelensky for more long-range artillery.

“Ukraine can count on us for as long as it takes,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said at the summit, which ends Thursday, announcing a new strategic overview that focuses on the Moscow threat.

The document, updated for the first time since 2010, warned that the alliance “cannot discount the........

© The Times of Israel

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