05:30 GMT +312 December 2018
Listen Live
    Polish troops land with parachutes at the military compound near Torun, central Poland, on June 7, 2016, as part of the NATO Anaconda-16 military exercise

    'No Constructive Dialogue': Two Issues NATO Refused to Discuss With Russia

    © AFP 2018 / JANEK SKARZYNSKI
    Politics
    Get short URL
    Russia-NATO Relations Reach a New Low (121)
    1433

    Russia wanted to discuss two major issues with NATO, the bloc's expansion to the East and the US-built missile shield in Europe, but the North Atlantic Alliance refused to engage in "constructive dialogue" with Moscow at the latest NATO-Russia Council (NRC) meeting, defense analyst Igor Korotchenko told Radio Sputnik.

    The second NRC meeting since mid-2014 took place on July 13, days after NATO held its landmark summit in the Polish capital of Warsaw. The alliance formally approved the deployment of four multinational battle groups to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland at the summit.

    This was one of the issues Moscow wanted to discuss with the bloc.

    "Russia wants to know the reasons behind NATO's decision to deploy battle groups close to Russia's borders. There is no practical need for that," editor-in-chief of the magazine Russian National Defense observed. "But there was no dialogue. NATO essentially refused to discuss this issue."

    The bloc's "unswerving expansion to the East" has been based on what the analyst referred to as "hysterical shouts" about an imaginary threat emanating from Russia.

     US Navy flag bearers, backdropped by the radar building of a missile defense base, walk in Deveselu, during an opening ceremony attended by U.S., NATO and Romanian officials at a base, originally established by the Soviet Union, in Deveselu, Southern Romania, Thursday, May 12, 2016.
    © AP Photo / Vadim Ghirda
    US Navy flag bearers, backdropped by the radar building of a missile defense base, walk in Deveselu, during an opening ceremony attended by U.S., NATO and Romanian officials at a base, originally established by the Soviet Union, in Deveselu, Southern Romania, Thursday, May 12, 2016.

    The US-built Aegis Ashore base in Romania that is part of a large missile defense complex in Europe was another issue on the agenda. NATO plans to install a similar system in Poland in two years. The initiative, US and NATO officials have said, is ostensibly meant to protect Europe from a ballistic missile threat from a rogue state, namely Iran.

    Moscow is concerned that the system is in fact aimed at degrading Russia's nuclear capabilities, particularly considering the fact that Iran inked a comprehensive deal with P5+1 countries and should no longer be treated as a possible threat.    

    NATO's missile shield in Europe has a "destabilizing effect" on military and political situation on the continent, since these systems "could potentially endanger Russia's strategic nuclear forces," Korotchenko noted.

    The analyst also said that the Aegis Ashore bases violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty since they could be used to launch offensive weapons, including Tomahawk cruise missiles. "We wanted to discuss this issue but NATO's did not react at all," he said.

    Korotchenko was also puzzled by NATO's decision to review Russia's initiative on making airspace over Baltics safer. Moscow offered to fly its aircraft over the Baltic region with transponders turned on if NATO countries do the same. President Putin mentioned the plan during his recent trip to Finland.

    "The alliance said that it would study Russia's proposal. What is there to study?" the analyst asked. "It is crystal clear: when transponders are on NATO sees Russian aircraft and Russia sees NATO spy planes that traverse the skies along Russia's borders. NATO did not express a wish to immediately ink the deal."

    This was the bloc's approach to any issue on the agenda of the NATO-Russia Council meeting, Korotchenko lamented.

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

    Related:

    NATO Mountain Troops Deploy to a Country With No Mountains
    US-Ukrainian 'Sea Breeze 2016' Exercises Threaten to Blow Up the Black Sea
    Serbian Defense Minister Debunks Belief That Belgrade Hopes to Join NATO
    German, French Leaders Defied US Hardliners at Warsaw NATO Summit
    Tags:
    NATO's easteern flank, NATO expansion, NATO buildup, military buildup, missile defense system, INF treaty, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, Aegis Ashore BMD complex, NATO-Russia Council, NATO, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik