These days NATO is apparently all about confrontation, not dialogue with Moscow. The North Atlantic Alliance is currently engaged in the largest airborne war-games since the end of the Cold War. The bloc has recently decided to open additional command centers in the Eastern European countries and the Baltics. Earlier, in June, the US elected to preposition heavy military hardware close to Russia's borders.
These other steps contributed to the lack of trust between the two parties, according to the expert. Moreover, NATO's saber rattling, which Russia perceives as dangerous to the European security, forced Moscow to bolster its defense capabilities.
Germany takes charge in 11-NATO nation Swift Response-U.S. Army’s largest airborne Live-ex in Europe since Cold War pic.twitter.com/fEBNNiUDDF— US Mission to NATO (@USNATO) 29 августа 2015
"These moves should be viewed as mutual threats. Russia is trying to intimidate NATO and vice versa," Focus magazine quoted the former national security advisor to Chancellor Helmut Kohl as saying. NATO has always been engaged in these activities, he added.
"I think this is a huge mistake," Teltschik asserted referring to NATO's stance on Russia. "Only dialogue [with Moscow] can prevent confrontation."
Although the situation appears to be grim at the moment, there is a silver lining. The war between the two parties is "impossible" since neither want the conflict to take place, the expert is convinced. Moreover, the tensions could ease in the foreseeable future, he added.
Teltschik views NATO's decision to scale back its Baltic air mission from 16 to eight aircraft as a positive sign. This is "a step in the right direction," just like the reestablishment of a direct line to Russia's military, he noted.