The NATO military alliance will hold a summit on June 14 in Brussels, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday, in a bid to repair transatlantic ties under U.S. President Joe Biden amid heightened tensions with Moscow.
After a bruising four years under Donald Trump, who said that the Western alliance was “obsolete” and used NATO summits to portray an organisation in crisis, Biden is seeking to renew ties with the other 29 NATO allies, offering close cooperation.
Stoltenberg said “this is a unique opportunity to reinforce NATO as the enduring embodiment of the bond between Europe and North America.” The summit is set to follow a Group of Seven meeting of leaders in Britain.
He listed summit talks focusing on “Russia’s aggressive actions, the threat of terrorism, cyber attacks, emerging and disruptive technologies, the security impact of climate change, and the rise of China”.
NATO summits after a U.S. election have traditionally been the setting for the nuclear-armed alliance to showcase unity, welcome a new U.S. president and agree on military and political goals in its long stand-off with Russia.
Founded in 1949 to contain a military threat from the Soviet Union, NATO relies on American leadership. Trump’s veiled threat in 2018 to pull out shook confidence in the alliance, but in a visit to Brussels last month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said NATO had “rediscovered its better self”.
In a twist of fate, the NATO summit will also consider a report, called NATO 2030, commissioned in 2019 on reforms to the alliance, after Trump questioned its relevance.