MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - Several NATO member states have reportedly thrown their weight behind an agenda of targeting Russia with the US-controlled ballistic missile “shield,” which is being built in Europe to allegedly guard the European Union against Iran, Germany’s Der Spiegel said Sunday.
Ahead of the NATO summit at the end of next week, the four countries have urged the military bloc to mention Moscow as a potential aggressor in its summit communique and have safeguards against Russia hardwired into the document, as they did with Iran.
“The majority, especially Germany, have opposed [this proposal] to avoid provoking Moscow unnecessarily, because NATO had spent years trying to assure the Russians that its missile shield wouldn’t target them,” Der Spiegel said.
The German paper said further debates had been put off till after the summit, which is scheduled for 4-5 September in Newport, South Wales.
The move came after NATO hit out at Russia for allegedly ordering its humanitarian aid convoy across the border with Ukraine, which it said was a flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Russia’s ambassador to UN, Vitaly Churkin, retorted that Kiev’s permission was granted to Moscow back on August 12, while the Red Cross bowed out of escorting the convoy after leaving the 227 trucks stranded at the border for a week. The vehicles were confirmed by Ukrainian customs officials to be carrying food, water and generators to the besieged city of Luhansk in Ukraine’s east.
NATO has repeatedly blamed Russia for the escalation of tensions in Ukraine and building up arms and troops on the country’s border. The alliance has used the crisis to justify an expansion of its military forces near Russian borders, bumping up the number of air patrol missions in Eastern Europe. Today, the United States has missile defense bases in Turkey, Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic.