The British Prime Minister held a preparatory conversation this Sunday with the Secretary General of NATO
March 12 () –
The President of the United States, Joe Biden, will meet this Monday with the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and Australia, Rishi Sunak and Anthony Albanese, to discuss the great defensive pact AUKUS in a meeting scheduled in San Diego (California) that could culminate in an agreement for the delivery of nuclear submarines to the Australian Army.
Although at the moment no official source has confirmed this information provided by the BBC, the British Government has indeed announced that Sunak will present a new defensive foreign policy strategy, updated after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which will include containment plans against Chinese expansion. in the Indo-Pacific.
“I am traveling to the United States to launch the next stage of the AUKUS nuclear submarine program, a project that unites ties with our closest allies and provides security, new technologies and economic advantages within our borders,” Sunak said in his statement. of departure, where he confirms the announcement this coming Monday of the so-called Integrated Review Update, which will present “a safe, prosperous United Kingdom and side by side with its allies”.
As far as Canberra is concerned, according to the Australian newspaper ‘Financial Review’, everything indicates that, from 2032, Australia will buy between three and five of the existing Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarines from the US as a springboard before build submarines in Adelaide, based on a British design, incorporating American combat systems and possibly an American reactor.
As a stopgap measure, the US will begin deploying nuclear submarines to Perth from 2027, allowing Australian sailors to work alongside and learn from US crews, which will require a significant expansion of the naval base in Perth. Albanese expects this agreement to generate 20,000 direct jobs.
“It’s a question of jobs,” Albanese said before leaving for the United States. “This is about developing our capabilities and when it comes to submarine manufacturing in Australia, that’s a top priority for us. We’re going to see that in the announcement,” she added.
According to DPA and the Press Association, the issue of AUKUS occupied a good part of the recent Franco-British summit in Paris, where Sunak ironed out differences with French President Emmanuel Macron. The Government of France, it should be remembered, called its ambassador in Washington for consultations in a gesture without recent precedents after, as a result of the pact, Paris was suddenly left without a million-dollar contract for the delivery of submarines to Canberra.
Sunak commented on the situation this Sunday in a telephone conversation with the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, to whom he reaffirmed his country’s intention to continue being “one of NATO’s main contributors to collective Euro-Atlantic security”.
Sunak and Stoltenberg agreed to “continue to work together in the run-up to the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania this June, to ensure that the Alliance addresses the threat on Europe’s eastern flank and is ready for the conflicts of the future.” “.
San Diego is the headquarters of Submarine Squadron 11 and is also home to more than 50 surface ships, making the city the largest US Navy installation on the West Coast.