Live Updates | Sweden is sending more military aid to Ukraine

Sweden plans to send additional military support to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons, support weapons and demining equipment that Kyiv allegedly requested.

The hardware is worth around 500 million kroner ($49 million).

“It is important that the support of Ukraine by the democratic countries in Europe is continuous and long-term,” said Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist, according to the Swedish news agency TT.

He didn’t say when or how the equipment would be delivered, but said: “It’s in everyone’s interest that it gets delivered as soon as possible.”


Sweden was invited to join the western military alliance at a NATO summit this week.

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– The US is increasing its military presence in Europe in the face of the Russian threat

— NATO calls Russia its “most significant and direct threat”

– NATO turns to highlight Chinese “challenges” for the first time

– Explainer: How was Turkey’s veto avoided the Nordic NATO bid?

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi skips the final day of the NATO summit in Madrid amid simmering tensions in his coalition government.

Draghi’s office said the prime minister would attend a cabinet meeting in the Italian capital on Thursday. Measures to relieve high consumer energy bills and government spending are high on the Cabinet’s agenda.

Draghi’s abrupt departure came amid tensions in his sweeping unity coalition assembled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

His predecessor, the populist 5-star movement leader Giuseppe Conte, fumes on issues such as Draghi’s staunch support for more military aid to Ukraine.

The 5-Stars are themselves in turmoil after Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio broke with the movement last week and set up his own pro-Draghi faction with a view to next year’s national election.

Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini is representing Draghi in Madrid.

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Britain is sending £1 billion (US$1.21 billion) worth of military aid to Ukraine, bringing its total military and economic aid since the start of the war to £3.8 billion.

The government said the new money will go towards equipment including air defense systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and electronic warfare equipment.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged allies at a NATO summit in Madrid on Thursday to “engage deeply” in support of Ukraine.

Britain is the second largest contributor to Ukraine’s military support after the United States. It is also one of only nine of NATO’s 30 members to meet the alliance’s goal of spending 2% of GDP on defense.

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NATO leaders arrive at a conference center in Madrid on the third and final day of their annual summit.

The 30-strong alliance is scheduled to conclude its talks with a working session on security concerns for its southern flank, particularly in unstable areas of North Africa and the Middle East.

On Wednesday, NATO allies pledged their continued support to Ukraine in its efforts to resist the Russian invasion. It also released an updated Strategic Concept, the document, outlining its top security concerns for the coming decade, in which it named Russia as its top threat and added China for the first time.

NATO has also announced that it will strengthen its rapid reaction force for Eastern Europe, increasing it from 40,000 to 300,000 troops ready to respond to any Russian attack on NATO territory.

The alliance has also paved the way for Sweden and Finland to become new members after overcoming concerns from Turkey.

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BRUSSELS – China has responded to labeling NATO as a security challenge by calling the Western military alliance a “Cold War remnant” that is “smearing” Beijing’s international reputation.

On Wednesday, NATO released its updated Strategic Concept, the document outlining its top security threats for the coming decade. While Russia was cited as its greatest threat, NATO included China for the first time.

It said China “seeks to subvert the rules-based international order, including in the space, cyber and maritime spheres,” and warned of its close ties with Moscow.

A statement released by China’s representation to the European Union on Thursday said: “As NATO views China as a ‘systemic challenge’, we need to pay close attention and respond in a coordinated manner. When it comes to actions that undermine China’s interests, we will respond decisively and decisively.”

China insisted it promotes peace through its cooperation with the United Nations and its overseas development projects.

She identified the 30-nation alliance as a source of instability.

“NATO claims to be a defense organization that upholds the rules-based international order, but it has bypassed the UN Security Council and waged wars against sovereign states, resulting in huge casualties and tens of millions displaced,” it said.

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