Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has reminded many of the central importance of NATO for the defence of Europe. The alliance’s next meeting, scheduled to be held in Vilnius in July, will be the first Finland attends as a full member and potentially the last before Sweden joins.
Both bring capable and credible forces to this collective defence organization. Both were formally neutral states during the Cold War and joining NATO was a direct consequence of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
While the Russian action may have re-invigorated a more or less united Nato, it has not been plain sailing. Russia’s invasion has also shone a light on issues that NATO’s leaders have sought to defer rather than tackle for more than a decade, and the ‘too difficult’ jar is overflowing. Here are some of these issues to watch out for in July: