31 March 201720:56

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the results of the ministerial meeting of the North-Atlantic Council

642-31-03-2017

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On March 31, a North-Atlantic Council meeting at the level of foreign ministers took place in Brussels. It was convened ahead of time to fit in with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s tight schedule. The US Secretary of State’s presence was needed for a joint confirmation of the strength of the transatlantic bond, which some members started to doubt after the new US administration came to power.

It seems that it is no easy task to maintain unity in the ranks of a multilateral structure, especially one consisting of very different states, like NATO. It is important to have a strong team-building theme. It did not take NATO ministers long to find just such a theme. According to their own comments, they always have the same thing on their minds: the “Russian threat” myth, the “Russian aggression” slander and endless entreaties to collectively resist this aggression.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s respective statements are bewildering. We state with regret that these declarations were made a day after the Russia-NATO Council meeting at the level of permanent representatives, which, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, featured “a thoughtful discussion of a wide range of issues in an open and positive atmosphere.” Apparently, this statement had nothing to do with the voodoo dance that followed in the private NATO circle.

In this connection it is important to bear in mind the Russia-NATO Council meeting’s agenda: each side reported on its defence plans, NATO representatives pursued the issue of  “increasing the predictability of military activities” and regional topics were discussed.

This begs the question: how could the relationship between Russia and NATO be constructive when the alliance keeps behaving in line with the old models and when the United States and their allies are fixated on the idea of building up their military presence on our borders justifying it with the need to “contain Russia”?  In fact, they impose the confrontational model of relations on us, relations based on military confrontation. At the same time, we cannot see any signs of the alliance’s intention to restore practical cooperation in areas of common interest, or to move in the direction of tackling real challenges to security, including regional terrorist threats. 

Once again NATO has placed its ideological dogmas above real efforts to address global problems. There can be only one conclusion: only a radical transformation in the nature of the alliance that is hopelessly stuck in the past can pave the way to positive change in European security.

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