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NATO: There Will Be No Return to Normality in Europe

The military alliance is determined to build its military presense in Eastern Europe to counter the 'Russian threat'

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

NATO considers that the future relationship with Russia will be tense: “there will be no return to normality until Russia again respects international law”, NATO stated on Friday.

The statement arose few days after NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg in Washington announced the new orientation of NATO. According to that, NATO wants to train its armies in Eastern Europe in order to strengthen military ties against Russia, since Russia is clearly seen as a threat.

The military alliance therefore advertises its intention of positioning itself in a way that would allow joint action at any time in case of Russian aggression, if it were to be detected by NATO. Thus NATO considers the actions in Crimea as an internationally illegal annexation, justifying a military response. The first escalation was the sanctions brought down on Russia by the US and EU.

Since then NATO has increased its military presence in Eastern Europe. Due to bad economics Russia cannot do much to counter it, thus restricting itself to occasional flights with combat aircraft in international airspace, which is, of course, denounced by NATO as provocation.

NATO follows the anti-Russian alignment of the US foreign policy: in the budget for 2017 a fancy sum of $582.7 billion is to be used against, according to the Pentagon, the Russian menace. $187 billion is allocated for Overseas Contigeny Operations (OCO). The military mission of NATO lies in protection of the USA and EU even on foreign territories, claims Stoltenberg in his speech in front of the Atlantic Council.

Yet to provide publicity with the notion of good will, NATO announced on Friday, that another NATO-Russia council should take place, nevertheless. The alliance says that in the following two weeks the NATO-Russia council is going to meet in Brussels. The Ukraine crisis, as well as the implementation of the Minsk agreements are on the agenda. Transparency and reduction of risks in view of military actions lie within the focus. The security situation in Afghanistan, including regional terrorism threats, should also be discussed.

The meeting is, de facto, insignificant. NATO makes regular reports in connection with meeting Russia every year: March 2014, June 2014, March 2015 and, finally, the meeting between Stoltenberg and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Munich Security Conference, January 2016.

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