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NATO’s second-in-command says Russia is now an enemy, not a partner

Published time: May 01, 2014 17:08
Edited time: May 02, 2014 12:18

NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow (AFP Photo / Yuri Kadobnov)

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NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow now says that the allied group has been compelled to treat Russia “as more of an enemy than a partner,” according to an Associated Press report published Thursday.

The 61-year-old former United States ambassador to Russia reportedly told journalists this week that Moscow’s role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has forced NATO to reconsider the alliance’s opinion on Russia, and that additional troops may soon be mobilized to the region as tensions worsen.

AP journalist Robert Burns wrote on Thursday that Vershbow said the Kremlin’s perceived part in the recent events in Ukraine “marks a turning point in decades of effort by NATO to draw Moscow closer.”

NATO’s second-in-command reportedly told journalists that the alliance is now considering new measures meant to counter any future acts of aggression on the part of Russia aimed at partner nations, and soon could deploy a larger number of combat forces to Eastern Europe.

Journalists reporting for Civil.Ge wrote on Thursday that Vershbow told the audience at a panel discussion in Washington, DC one day earlier that NATO should deploy “defensive assets to the region.”

“We need to step up our support for defense reforms and military modernization of Russia’s neighbors, and not just of Ukraine, but also Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan,” Vershbow said, according to the Civil Georgia site.

NATO should think about “upgrading” joint exercises among partner nations, the site quoted Vershbow as saying during the event, while acknowledging that deploying forces to Georgia would be a “controversial” maneuver.

“It is also important for the United States to show leadership… to make sure that next steps that NATO will make, for example at the summit in September, will be adequate response to what’s happening in Ukraine,” the Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said during the discussion.

“The West should now seize the opportunity and create the reality on the ground by accepting membership of aspirant countries, by putting purely defensive assets in aspirant countries and predominantly in Georgia,” Alasania added. “What is important now is to put some deterrent capabilities on the ground like air defense and anti-armor capabilities that will give us a chance to defend our freedom, because we know that if things go wrong at this point no one is coming to save us; we’ve seen that in 2008.”

Earlier this week, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said the builduip of NATO troops near Russia’s border was “unprecedented.” Weeks earlier, the US Air Force commander in charge of NATO’s military presence in Europe said that US troops may soon be deployed to the region as tensions continue to worsen near the border between Ukraine and Russia.

For weeks now, officials in Washington and Kiev have claimed that the recent separation of Crimea from Ukraine and the rash of uprisings in the country’s eastern part are the direct result of destabilization efforts spearheaded by Moscow, and both the US and European Union have introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia as a result. The Kremlin has refuted these claims and rebuffed the sanctions, however, and earlier this week Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin accused the White House of orchestrating the Ukrainian crisis.

“I think what is happening now shows us who really was mastering the process from the beginning. But in the beginning, the United States preferred to remain in the shadow,” Putin said this week.

Comments (718)

 

chris600 24.06.2014 08:28

See? These guys from RT have their head sticked so deep in their asses that they cannot make the difference between enemy and adversary.

 

Tsuhna 16.06.2014 18:31

Now that Iran got what she wanted all along, that is peaceful nuclear energy, instead of the bomb, which has been US/ISRAEL propaganda al the time, the US mil-ind complex has a hard time justifying the NATO missiles in EU near Russias border with "Iranian Threat", they had to create a reason to deploy them, this time a proxy war through Ukraine to "paint" Russia as aggressive "enemy". It is all fearmongering, warmongering, but why? Could it be that USA which USED to be top country in all measures is now behind China in economy, and lives by debt and petrodollar scam, needs an enemy to keep the economy going..madness

 

Terry Ross 15.06.2014 21:54

@'Nicholas Bright
Interesti ng post.
US has not run a trade surplus since the mid 70's.
Was this the reason for leaving gold standard as it could no longer compete? With no surplus it has been living off debt for 40 years.

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