NATO PA’s Spring Session to reaffirm solidarity with Ukraine, urge NATO Madrid Summit to confront Russia’s threat

26 May 2022

More than 230 parliamentarians from the 30-nation NATO Alliance and from almost 20 partner countries and institutions will meet at the 2022 Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA), starting on Friday 27 May. 

“On the 24th of February, President Putin began his unjustified, unprovoked and brutal war against Ukraine, shattering peace in Europe and shaking the very foundations of international security,” said NATO PA President Gerald E. Connolly (United States) ahead of the session. 

Demonstrating unwavering, steadfast support for Ukraine is therefore at the top of the agenda of the meeting, taking place in Vilnius, Lithuania from 27 to 30 May. “We will also discuss what more our parliaments can do to assist Ukraine now and for the long term,” underlined President Connolly. 

The Assembly’s plenary will discuss a declaration on Standing with Ukraine on Monday 30 May, penned by Michal Szczerba (Poland), Co-Chairperson of the Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council

The session takes place a month before what is likely to be a transformative Summit for NATO in Madrid. 

"Russia’s war vindicates our Assembly’s conviction that the new Strategic Concept, which Allied leaders will adopt in Madrid in June, must be rooted in the enduring commitment to NATO’s foundational, immutable shared democratic values,” underlined US Congressman Connolly, who will also address Monday’s plenary sitting. “NATO must place them at the heart of our response to today’s challenges, including through the establishment, within NATO, of a Democratic Resilience Centre.” 

The Allied legislators will also debate how NATO must adapt to continue deterring any threat to NATO members and defend every inch of NATO territory.  

“Russia’s war has strengthened, not weakened, Allied unity,” the President noted. “The commitment to defend every inch of NATO territory and stand together under Article 5 is ironclad. But we must reset our deterrence and defense posture to respond to Russia’s threat for the long term.” Legislators will set out their views in a declaration on Confronting Russia’s Threat, to be presented by the President on Monday. 

The session was due to be held in Kyiv but had to be moved to Vilnius after Russia launched its war. Nevertheless, members will engage with the Verkhovna Rada’s NATO PA delegation and high-level speakers from Ukraine, including Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister.  

The plenary sitting will include addresses from the Lithuanian President, the Lithuanian Speaker of Parliament, the NATO Deputy Secretary General and the Speakers of Parliament of Finland and Sweden, who will address their countries’ NATO membership bids. 

While the focus will certainly be on Ukraine and Russia, the Assembly’s five Committees will discuss the Committees’ preliminary draft reports which address other threats and challenges to Euro-Atlantic security. Key topics include: 

  • the lessons learned from NATO’s engagement in Afghanistan 
  • NATO partnerships and the future of the Open Door policy 
  • challenges to stability in the Western Balkans and the Middle East and North Africa 
  • the growing strategic importance of Asia and the Indo-Pacific 
  • the continued threat of terrorism 
  • the important role and contribution of women to peace and security 
  • Allied resilience efforts 
  • cyber security and defence  
  • the security impact of climate change 
  • strategic trade and corruption challenges  
  • the future of warfare 

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly is a unique forum for members of parliament from across the Atlantic Alliance to discuss and influence decisions on Alliance security. While independent from NATO, the Assembly serves as an essential link between NATO and the parliaments as well as citizens of the NATO nations. It provides greater transparency of NATO policies and fosters better understanding of the Alliance’s objectives and missions among legislators and citizens of the Alliance. 

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