The undersigned represent a group of independent research institutes and think-tanks from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s eastern flank. As NATO meets at the historic Summit in Madrid, we felt it important that the voice of the region most exposed to the Russian threat is heard.

NATO was set up to protect its members against the threat of the expansive Soviet Union and we welcome the Alliance’s renewed prioritization of defence and deterrence, as was stressed at the Summit.

With the end of the Cold War, the focus of the Alliance has shifted toward collective security and crises management, as precipitated by wars in former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. Today, with Russia waging war in Ukraine, in the direct vicinity of NATO’s Eastern flank, it is becoming clear that the renewed focus on defence and deterrence is essential.

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