NATO's 'readiness' must be strengthened - Stoltenberg

STORY: Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg was speaking after informal talks in the Netherlands with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the leaders of Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Romania, Portugal and Belgium ahead of a wider NATO summit in Madrid at the end of the month.

"In Madrid, we will agree a major strengthening of our posture," he said. "Tonight we discussed the need for more robust and combat-ready forward presence and an even higher readiness and more pre-positioned equipment and supplies."

Asked about Sweden and Finland's applications to join the alliance, Stoltenberg said he was seeking "a united way forward" to resolve opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it deems as Swedish support of Kurdish militants.

Following Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls "a special military operation", NATO has boosted its presence in the Baltics

Stoltenberg said NATO will deliver a further strengthening of the alliance when all 30 members meet June 29-30 in the Spanish capital.

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