At NATO summit, allies take steps to counter Russia, support Ukraine

The United States will begin deploying longer-range missiles in Germany in 2026, marking a significant move to counter the perceived growing threat from Russia, the two countries announced on Tuesday at a NATO meeting. This deployment represents the most powerful U.S. weapons to be stationed in Europe since the Cold War, delivering a clear warning to Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.

In a joint statement, the U.S. and Germany detailed the “episodic deployments” as a precursor to more permanent stationing of advanced capabilities, including SM-6, Tomahawk, and developmental hypersonic missiles with extended range. These deployments, which would have been prohibited under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty—terminated in 2019—underscore the shifting security landscape.

“We cannot discount the possibility of an attack against Allies’ sovereignty and territorial integrity,” NATO allies asserted in a communique released on Wednesday.

Further support is on the way for Ukraine as NATO allies aim to bolster President Volodymyr Zelensky’s efforts. The communique outlined plans to provide Ukraine with at least €40 billion ($43.28 billion) in military aid over the next year, although it fell short of the multi-year commitment that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had advocated.

The document also intensified NATO’s stance on China, labeling it a “decisive enabler” of Russia’s war effort in Ukraine and highlighting Beijing’s ongoing challenges to Euro-Atlantic security.

Stoltenberg noted that this was the first instance of all 32 NATO allies collectively identifying China as a significant enabler of Russia’s war, emphasizing the importance of this message. While NATO does not impose sanctions, Stoltenberg stated: “At the end of the day, this will be for individual allies to make decisions, but the message we send from NATO from this summit is very clear.”

The communique urged China to halt material and political support for Russia and expressed concern about China’s space capabilities and its rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal. It called on Beijing to engage in strategic risk reduction talks.

President Biden hosted NATO partners at a White House dinner on Wednesday, celebrating what he described as “the greatest alliance the world has ever known.” In his Tuesday speech, Biden declared that NATO is “stronger than it’s ever been” and affirmed that Ukraine can and will defeat President Putin with NATO’s full, collective support.

On Wednesday, Biden expressed satisfaction that all NATO members are committed to expanding their industrial bases and developing plans for domestic defense production.