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    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (C) poses with officials and military personnel in front of a NATO unmanned drone outside PGE National Stadium, the venue of the NATO Summit, in Warsaw, Poland, July 8, 2016.

    Who is Behind NATO's Anti-Russian Stance

    © REUTERS / Agencja Gazeta/Adam Stepien
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    Russia-NATO Relations Reach a New Low (121)
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    The North Atlantic Alliance has treated Russia as a major threat blaming the country for undermining European stability, yet it is NATO itself and a massive anti-Russian media campaign in the West who are to blame for the current state of affairs in Europe, Turkish retired Brigadier General Haldun Solmaztürk told Sputnik.

    The West has always tried to blame Russia for its own shortcomings, the analyst, who heads the Ankara-based 21st Century Turkey Institute, added.

    This blame game "is extremely destructive; it does not make any sense," he said. "One should ask those who use any pretext to try to blame Russia for undermining geopolitical situation [in Europe] if it was Russia that had withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002. It wasn't Russia, but the US. … What right does Washington have to criticize Moscow?"

    This is not the only difference between the US, its NATO allies and Russia. The latter is actively engaged in military and diplomatic efforts to destroy Daesh, one of the most powerful terrorist groups in the world. Moscow's campaign has been largely hailed as a success. Yet Western countries have been reluctant to coordinate their counterterrorism operation with Russia.

    "Instead of supporting this initiative and focusing on efficient ways of fighting terrorism, NATO sadly chose to act according to a puzzling scheme and flay Russia for its actions in Syria," Solmaztürk observed.

    The analyst blamed Western leaders for encouraging a massive propaganda campaign in the media aimed at fostering anti-Russian sentiments. It has been especially visible ahead of NATO's summit in Warsaw.

    "These destructive efforts have led to some searching for Russia's trace everywhere," he noted. "Any newsworthy topic that can be used against Russia has been blown out of proportion."

    This is the reason behind concerns frequently expressed by Eastern European nations and the Baltic states with regard to Russia's supposedly aggressive behavior. This is what forced them to seek greater commitment from NATO, particularly the US, to their security.

    Moscow has always maintained that it does not pose a threat to any of its neighbors or beyond. But Russia has warned that if NATO does not listen to its concerns and continues to build up military presence on the bloc's eastern flank, Moscow will enhance its defense capabilities. Russia is within its rights to respond, Solmaztürk confirmed.

    Topic:
    Russia-NATO Relations Reach a New Low (121)

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    Tags:
    Russian aerial campaign, Syrian conflict, counterterrorism, NATO Warsaw Summit 2016, NATO, Daesh, United States, Russia
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