Foreign relations of NATO

NATO begins unprecedented air drill in 'show of strength'

NATO will begin the largest air force deployment exercise in Europe in the alliance's history on Monday in a display of unity toward partners and potential threats such as Russia.

The German-led "Air Defender 23" will run until June 23 and include some 250 military aircraft from 25 NATO and partner countries including Japan and Sweden, which is bidding to join the alliance.

Balkan Countries Host ‘Immediate Response’ NATO Exercise

A US soldier gestures to a North Macedonian armoured vehicles near Kumanovo, North Macedonia. Photo: EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI

Citizens of several Balkan countries over the weekend and on Monday have had an opportunity to see displays of military equipment being used for the NATO "Immediate Response" military exercise.

Russia's Lavrov warns EU becoming militarized now, like NATO

Russia's top diplomat warned Tuesday that the European Union "is becoming militarized at a record rate" and aggressive in its goal of containing Russia.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference he has no doubts that there is now "very little difference" between the EU and NATO.

FM in Brussels to welcome Finland into NATO fold

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias was in Brussels on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC), which will be preceded by a ceremony welcoming Finland into the alliance. 

The flag-raising ceremony at NATO headquarters for the alliance's 31st member is being attended by Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and government ministers.

NATO: The Majority of Bulgarians support an Increase in Defense Spending

According to 83% of Bulgarian citizens, our country should spend more on defense, while only 8% disagree, and 9% cannot decide. This is indicated by data from a NATO study, included in the annual report on the Alliance's activities presented today, cited by BTA correspondent Nikolay Zhelyazkov.

NATO chief welcomes Türkiye move to ratify Finland membership

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on March 17 hailed Türkiye 's decision to push ahead with ratifying Finland's membership, and said Sweden should also be allowed to join "as soon as possible".

"The most important thing is that both Finland and Sweden become full members of NATO quickly, not whether they join at exactly the same time," Stoltenberg said.