As the organizer of the summit, Spain urges NATO to monitor the southern side


Barcelona, ​​Spain (AP) — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will undoubtedly dominate the NATO summit in Madrid, but Spain and other member states will be influenced by Moscow by mercenaries in collaboration with Russian President Vladimirputin. It is quietly promoting the Western Alliance to consider how it is spreading its power to Africa.

As the organizer of the summit Tuesday-Thursday, Spain is lobbying to further focus on the southern part of Europe in a new document outlining NATO’s security challenges and vision of challenges. Therefore, I would like to emphasize the proximity to Africa.

The strategic concept was NATO’s most important working document after the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, which contained an important clause that an attack on one member would be considered an attack on all members. .. The security rating is updated almost every 10 years to reset the Western security agenda.

The current version, approved in Lisbon in 2010, states that the risk of regular war on NATO territory is “low.” Concerns about Africa’s instability are not explicitly mentioned. At that time, the alliance regarded indifference as the greatest military threat. US complaints that some European members are not making legitimate payments were highlighted at the summit talks.

If you fast forward for more than a dozen years, your view will be very different from the NATO headquarters in Brussels.rear Russia brought war The NATO eastern border alliance has provided Ukraine with a variety of more powerful weapons and has worked to avoid the very real risk of being involved in combat.

However, there seems to be consensus among NATO members heading for the Madrid Summit that Russia must continue to expand its horizons globally, while Russia remains the primary concern. Spain’s position to raise attention to the “South” is shared by the United Kingdom, France and Italy.

In their view, Africa’s security challenges arise from Putin, who is clearly stuck in restoring the glory of the Russian empire, and the vast China. Russia is gaining momentum with mercenaries in the Sahel region, a semi-arid region extending from Senegal to Sudan, which suffers from political conflicts, terrorism and drought.

Spain’s Foreign Minister José Alvarez said, “Every time I meet with NATO ministers, the alliance’s support is complete because of the instability in the South Frontier of the alliance, especially in the current Sahel region.”

Kremlin refuses to link to Wagner Group, Mercenary Corps It has a growing presence in Central Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. Private military companies that also participated in the war in Ukraine have gained a foothold in Libya, Mali, Sudan and the Central African Republic.

In Mali, Wagner soldiers Exit of former colonial France.. In Sudan, a naval base in the Red Sea was promised at the offer of the Russian Economic Union. In the Central African Republic, Wagner fighters protect the country’s gold and diamond mines. In return, Putin gets diplomatic allies and resources.

French President Emmanuel Macron has long sought “greater involvement” from NATO in the Sahel region. Now that Wagner has moved to Mali, French officials have emphasized that Wagner mercenaries have been accused of human rights violations in the Central African Republic, Libya and Syria.

Former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana said Russia’s brutal military operation in favor of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made it bold during the long civil war in his country.

“Syria has given (Russians) the feeling that they can be more active in that part of the world,” Solana told The Associated Press. “They have a very good relationship with Algeria, and (…) there are delicate Wagner-type people in the Sahel.”

Sahel, Morocco and Algeria are at risk of exacerbating instability, “for South NATO, Portugal, Spain, Greece, etc., they want to look to that part of the world,” he said.

Italy is another NATO member that is in tune with the political situation across the Mediterranean. In 2017, NATO’s Joint Army Command in Naples opened a South Hub Hub with a particular focus on terrorism, intensification, migration and other security issues originating from North Africa and the Middle East.

In an interview with Italian news agency ANSA in May, NATO’s Italian ambassador Francesco Maria Taro said that the humanitarian crisis in Africa must relate to all NATO allies.

“There is Africa near us, with a billion people at risk of poverty, exacerbated by food insecurity, terrorism and climate change. All of these factors combine to create anxiety. “Taro said. “And Russia is there too.”

The importance of the other side of the Mediterranean is Morocco and Algeria and their Competition for the fate of Western SaharaFormer Spanish colony.

Border security declines in conflict Allowed immigrants to enter Spanish territoryAnd there was Recognized threat to energy supply.. Analysts consider both to be “hybrid warfare” tactics when the government uses them against other countries.

British Defense Minister Ben Wallace, who spoke in Madrid last month, said: Problems that occurred last year Putin’s ally, Belarus, allegedly encouraged immigrants to cross the border to Poland and other neighboring countries.

“If people like Wagner want to get the control they have, in places like Libya, or in fact they already do in Mali, Spain will do it. Don’t expect to be unaffected, “Wallace said.

NATO is also expected to include references to China’s expanding military reach both inside and outside the Pacific War in its new strategic document. “China has joined Russia and is openly vying for the right of each country to choose its own path,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltemberg told Madrid last month.

In May, US Army General Stephen J. Townsend, commander of the US African Army, warned that China was trying to build. Military naval base Located on the Atlantic coast of Africa. He said China “has the most traction” towards establishing a base in Equatorial Guinea, a small oil-rich dictatorship that was once Spain’s only sub-Saharan African colony. Said.

China operates only one recognized foreign military base in Djibouti, East Africa, but many do not have to use the term “base” but the PLA is a foreign military network. I believe I’m busy establishing.

NATO has invited leaders from Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand to the summit to show their interest in the Asia-Pacific.

The Foreign Minister of Mauritania, a former French colony of West Africa, has also been invited to a supper of fellow foreign ministers at the NATO summit. NATO said countries bordering Western Sahara, Algeria, Mali and Senegal are “closely linked to preparatory work” for the new strategic concept.


AP writer Madrid Ciarán Giles, Sylvie Corbet in Paris, and Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this report.