Russia, China slam NATO after alliance raises alarm

Russia, China slam NATO after alliance raises alarm

Madrid: NATO faced rebukes from Moscow and Beijing on Thursday after it declared Russia a direct threat and said China posed serious challenges to global stability.

The Western military alliance was wrapping up a summit in Madrid, where it issued a stark warning that the world has been plunged into a dangerous phase of big-power competition and myriad threats, from cyberattacks to climate change.

NATO leaders also formally invited Finland and Sweden to join the alliance, after overcoming opposition from Turkey. If the Nordic nations' accession is approved by the 30 member nations, it will give NATO a new 800-mile (1,300 kilometer) border with Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned he would respond in kind if the Nordic pair allowed NATO troops and military infrastructure onto their territory. He said Russia will have to create the same threats for the territory from which threats against us are created.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said Putin's threats were nothing new.

Of course, we have to expect some kind of surprises from Putin, but I doubt that he is attacking Sweden or Finland directly, she said as she arrived at the summit's conference center venue. "We will see cyberattacks definitely. We will see hybrid attacks, information war is going on. But not the conventional war. China accused the alliance of maliciously attacking and smearing the country. Its mission to the European Union said NATO claims that other countries pose challenges, but it is NATO that is creating problems around the world.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the summit that Russia's invasion of Ukraine had brought the biggest overhaul of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War.

The invasion shattered Europe's peace, and in response NATO has poured troops and weapons into eastern Europe on a scale unseen in decades.

Member nations have given Ukraine billions in military and civilian aid to strengthen its resistance.

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