The leaders' meeting in Brussels showed that the allies will be much closer in the coming years. But relations with major powers beyond NATO's borders are the worst they have been since the Cold War. While Moscow is seen as a threat by NATO, China is a challenge to the Alliance. The summit also saw many concrete commitments, including zero military emissions by NATO members after 2050, and the opening of new operational domains for the Alliance in cyberspace and outer space.

The changes in the French military presence come after the May military coup in Mali. It is not yet clear whether the European training mission, which also includes Slovak soldiers, will be affected.

Yesterday, the Slovak government signed up to the document drawn up by the ministries of defence and diplomacy. Slovakia already has clear positions ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels, including a view on the "assertive behaviour of authoritarian states". After the end of NATO's largest mission in Afghanistan, it will support planning for another form of engagement in the region. More Slovak troops could also be sent to Iraq.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, which begins on Monday (14 June), will take the allies into the final phase of a two-year debate on NATO's internal reform and its future direction. Leaders are also expected to agree on how to redefine relations with Russia and China.