WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Friday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the summit in Warsaw, Poland that the alliance would strengthen its military presence in Eastern Europe on a rotational basis with four battalions in Poland and in the Baltic nations.
"If Moscow and Washington can truly cooperate over Syria and ISIS [Daesh]… that will help to cool matters down," Zakheim stated on Friday.
NATO announcements made at the summit in Warsaw, Zakheim continued, including the United States deploying more troops to Poland, and are not designed to provoke Russia, but to send a message.
"If Moscow seeks cooperation… it certainly is not being ignored, as perhaps it was in the 1990s."
After Crimea and Ukraine, Zakheim added, the United States and its NATO allies became convinced that Russia was becoming more aggressive.
Since 2014, NATO has been building up its military presence in Europe, especially in Eastern European countries neighboring Russia, using Moscow’s alleged interference in the Ukrainian conflict as a pretext.
Moscow has repeatedly denied the claims and warned NATO that the military buildup on Russia’s borders is provocative and threatens the existing strategic balance of power.