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Putin Hints at First-Strike Policy, Cites 'US Counterparts'

Russian president doesn't say it, but analysts hear veiled nuclear threat

(Newser) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Moscow could adopt what he described as a US concept of using preemptive military strikes, noting it has the weapons to do the job, in a blunt statement amid rising Russia-NATO tensions over Ukraine. "We are just thinking about it. They weren'...

Report: US Speeds Up Upgrade of Nuclear Arsenal in Europe

But there's no connection to Ukraine war, Pentagon says

(Newser) - With nuclear tensions at their highest since the end of the Cold War, the US has stepped up plans to upgrade the arsenal of nuclear weapons it maintains at NATO military bases in Europe, Politico reports, citing a diplomatic cable and "two people familiar with the issue." According...

Ukraine Is Submitting Fast-Track NATO Application

'De facto, we have already proven compatibility with alliance standards'

(Newser) - Ukraine’s president says his country is submitting an "accelerated" application to join the NATO military alliance. President Volodymyr Zelensky's statement Friday came shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties to annex occupied areas of Ukraine that he warned Russia would protect using "all available means,...

Voting 95-1, Senate Backs Sweden, Finland Joining NATO

McConnell had lobbied Republicans, saying a larger alliance will make US safer

(Newser) - Russian aggression helped bring Republicans and Democrats together on Wednesday, as the Senate voted 95-1 to endorse letting Finland and Sweden join NATO. A two-thirds vote would have been sufficient, but Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had been lobbying his members, the New York Times reports. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, McConnell...

Hawley to Vote Against Letting Sweden, Finland Into NATO

GOP senator argues US should focus less on Europe, more on China

(Newser) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week that the US "would be fortunate to have two new treaty allies as impressive and capable as Finland and Sweden." On Monday, one of his Republican colleagues said he won't support the two countries joining NATO, per the Hill...

First 2 Countries Ratify Finland, Sweden NATO Bids

Canada, Denmark legislatures approved historic move

(Newser) - All 30 NATO members have formally signed off on Sweden and Finland's historic bid to join the alliance , and the next step is expected to be a time-consuming one—but not in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the country has become the first to ratify accession protocols for...

Russia, China Slam NATO Over Summit Remarks

Alliance declared Russia 'direct threat'

(Newser) - 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...

NATO to Make Its Biggest Expansion in Decades

Finland and Sweden are formally invited to join

(Newser) - Sweden and Finland are one big step closer to joining NATO, which on Wednesday formalized its invitation to the two countries. The next step is for the 30 member states' parliaments and legislatures to ratify the decision, which is expected to move forward quickly, though the full process could take...

At NATO Summit, a Biting Description of Russia

Russia called 'most significant and direct threat'

(Newser) - NATO declared Russia the "most significant and direct threat" to its members’ peace and security, as the military alliance met Wednesday to confront what NATO’s chief called the biggest security crisis since World War II. The leaders are also set to publish NATO’s new Strategic Concept, its...

Turkey Drops Objection to Finland, Sweden Joining NATO

Alliance leader hails 'historic decision'

(Newser) - Update: Turkey agreed Tuesday to lift its opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, ending an impasse that had clouded a leaders’ summit opening in Madrid amid Europe’s worst security crisis in decades, triggered by the war in Ukraine. After urgent top-level talks with leaders of the three countries,...

'In an Unpredictable World,' US Leads NATO Exercise

Sweden, Finland take part in 7K-personnel drill

(Newser) - NATO kicked off nearly a two-week, US-led naval exercise on the Baltic Sea on Sunday with more than 7,000 sailors, airmen, and marines from 16 nations, including two aspiring to join the military alliance, Finland and Sweden. The annual BALTOPS naval exercise, initiated in 1972, is not held in...

Zelensky: Russia Holds 20% of Ukraine
Russia Controls 20%
of Ukraine: Zelensky
the rundown

Russia Controls 20% of Ukraine: Zelensky

US admits to conducting offensive cyber operations to aid Ukraine

(Newser) - After nearly 100 days of fighting, Russia holds one-fifth of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday. In a video address to the Parliament of Luxembourg, he said the battle is being waged from Kharkiv in the nation's northeast to Mykolaiv in the south, a distance of more than 1,...

Finland Won't Pay Gas Company in Rubles. Russia Hits Back

Gazprom has cut off supply of gas to Nordic nation

(Newser) - Things were already tense between Russia and Finland after the latter nation applied for NATO membership this week, and a new move by the former isn't going to alleviate that tension. Due to crippling sanctions against its central bank because of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has asked customers...

Finland, Sweden Officially Want Their NATO Cards
Finland, Sweden
Apply to Join NATO

Finland, Sweden Apply to Join NATO

Spurred by Russian invasion of Ukraine, countries make big move

(Newser) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that the military alliance stands ready to seize a historic moment and move quickly on allowing Finland and Sweden to join its ranks, after the two countries submitted their membership requests. The official applications, handed over by Finland's and Sweden's ambassadors...

Sweden Ends 200 Years of Neutrality, Knocks on NATO's Door
Sweden: We Want
to Join NATO, Too

Sweden: We Want to Join NATO, Too

Government, like Finland's, will apply for membership

(Newser) - Sweden's prime minister announced Monday that Sweden will join Finland in seeking NATO membership in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a historic shift that comes after more than 200 years of military nonalignment in the Nordic country, per the AP . The move, which is likely to...

Finland Makes Bid for NATO Official

Sweden's ruling party reverses on opposition to joining alliance

(Newser) - NATO moved closer to expansion on Sunday, as Finland confirmed its intention to apply for membership and Sweden's ruling party dropped its opposition to that nation joining. Both countries have long been militarily nonaligned, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said their joining the organization will constitute a "...

Finland Takes Big Step Toward Joining NATO

President, PM say country needs to apply to join alliance 'without delay'

(Newser) - After staying neutral during the Cold War and remaining nonaligned for decades afterward, Finland is on the brink of joining NATO. In a joint statement Thursday, Prime Minister Sanna Marin and President Sauli Niinisto said the country needs to apply to join the alliance "without delay," the Guardian...

Don't Join NATO, Russia Warns Finland, Sweden

Both nations are conducting reviews in light of the invasion of Ukraine

(Newser) - With polls showing public support for the move has nearly doubled in both countries since the invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland are talking about joining NATO. Don't do that, Russia warned Monday. "The alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters,...

NATO Says Up to 15K Russian Troops Dead in Ukraine

High end of estimate equals Soviet toll from 10 years of war in Afghanistan

(Newser) - NATO estimated on Wednesday that 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in four weeks of war in Ukraine, where fierce fighting by the country's fast-moving defenders has denied Moscow the lightning victory it sought. By way of comparison, Russia lost about 15,000 troops over...

Biden Heads to Europe for 'Extraordinary' NATO Summit
Biden Heads to Europe for
'Giant Meeting of NATO'
the rundown

Biden Heads to Europe for 'Giant Meeting of NATO'

New sanctions against Russia are expected

(Newser) - President Biden is headed to Europe Wednesday for a four-day trip that has Russia and the Ukraine at its nexus. As national security adviser Jake Sullivan put it to reporters on Tuesday, per the AP , "This war will not end easily or rapidly. For the past few months, the...

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