The answer is “the aggressor”: what containment measures Russia will take NATO members

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the summit of heads of state and government of the countries participating in NATO

The most important in 20 years

The NATO summit, held on 8-9 July in Warsaw, the Western media called vital for the member countries of the organization for the last 20 years. As has been said by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in recent years, the scale of the threats faced by NATO, has significantly increased.

According to the results of the two-day summit adopted a communiqué on transatlantic security. It refers to the growing aggressiveness of Russia towards the neighboring countries, instability in the middle East and Northern Africa and associated with this migration crisis, the escalation of terror by militants of the “Islamic state” (banned in Russia organization) and entering them on the territory of NATO countries, the problems in the field of information security, cyberterrorism and other issues. As previously mentioned ” all these problems forced the Alliance to reconsider its military policy and, as a consequence, to develop a package of adaptation measures to these threats.

The communiqué noted that NATO Nations agreed on a position on Russia, which is based on “defense and dialogue; agreed to strengthen the position of NATO in the black sea region, where Russia is increasing its presence; adopted a package of measures in support of Ukraine; have agreed to use the aircraft with the airborne early warning AWACS in anti-terrorist operations without entering the territory of Syria and Iraq, soldiers training the Iraqi army, to extend non-combat mission in Afghanistan, strengthen the protection of their information networks and take other measures to reinforce collective defence in the face of threats in the zone of influence of NATO and beyond.

The summit participants also agreed to declare initial operational readiness of its missile defense system in Deveselu (Romania). As stated in the communiqué, the complex is designed to protect against potential missile attacks, the population, territory and forces across southern European part of NATO. It is also noted that NATO is ready to adapt its missile defence programme in the case of reducing the threat of proliferation of ballistic missiles. The unit will remain nuclear as long as nuclear weapons exist, but will create the conditions for reductions in nuclear arsenals.

Deterrence and dialogue

The theme of relations between Russia and NATO was a key part of the agenda of the summit. As said by the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the meeting of the NATO Council in Brussels in June, NATO and, in particular, bordering Russia countries — Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland — are concerned about Russia’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine. In December of last year during the meeting of foreign Ministers of the NATO countries, the Latvian foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said that Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland advocated for the July summit of NATO mechanism is long, extended and significant presence of allies that can deter any aggressive actions” by Russia [data “Interfax”].

This issue was considered and subsequently approved at the meeting of defence Ministers of NATO countries in Brussels in June: foreign Ministers agreed to place in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland four multinational battalions on a rotational basis. At the summit on 8-9 July in Warsaw the leaders of the NATO countries had to make a final decision.

The summit participants spoke about the need for a combination of “deterrence and dialogue” in the process of cooperation with Moscow. “In relations with Russia, we must be firm if necessary, and it was necessary, and at the same time carry on a dialogue. The hardness allows the dialogue and dialogue allows us to find solutions,” — quoted by the publication Zonebourse French President Francois Hollande. According to him, which led to RIA Novosti, “it is important to show from the very beginning of the summit, we don’t pose the threat that the Alliance does not take an aggressive stance that he had no enemies, but we still need to provide their own defense.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also insists on a constructive dialogue with Moscow. According to Reuters, at the summit, she explained that “coordination between NATO and Russia could be mutually beneficial, as well as mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and the United States in Syria.” Czech President Milos Zeman proposed to conduct a dialogue in other spheres: in education, tourism, and business. “Dialogue can be a tool to change the position of some Russian politicians” — quoted portal Ceske noviny.

US President Barack Obama at the summit said that Russia’s actions in Ukraine threaten peace in Europe, and stressed that Washington will continue to support Kiev. As reported by radio “Freedom”, he called Russia’s actions in Ukraine among the main threats faced by NATO, and said that the unit will not restore its relations with Moscow in its entirety as long as it does not fulfill the Minsk agreement. The German foreign Minister Walter Steinmeier plans to discuss the prospects of dialogue with the Russian authorities shortly after the summit meeting of the NATO—Russia 13 July in Brussels.

At the summit the NATO leaders secured the decision to place four multinational battalions in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. At the meeting it was decided that a battalion in Lithuania will meet Germany, Latvia, Canada, Estonia, UK, Poland, the USA. Each battalion will consist of 800-1000 people in total to 3.2–4 thousand people. The battalions will be posted on a temporary basis, on a rotational basis (every six to nine months). Formally it does not violate the founding act between Russia and NATO, according to which the Alliance is forbidden to increase its positions near the Russian border on a regular basis. Battalions will be deployed in early 2017.

“Russia’s aggressive actions, in particular the provocative military activities on the periphery of NATO territory and Russia manifested a willingness to achieve political objectives through the threat and use of force are a source of regional instability, represent a fundamental challenge to the Alliance, caused damage to Euro-Atlantic security and threaten our long-standing goal of creating a free and peaceful Europe,” — said in a communique following the meeting.

Support for Kiev

The summit was held on July 9, the Commission Ukraine-NATO with the participation of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The Ukrainian President called on NATO to cooperate, saying that the Alliance will benefit from the intelligence of Ukraine. “No country in NATO has no real combat experience with modern Russian army. Ukraine has [this experience] is,” he said. He thanked the organization for their support and said the assistance in the strengthening of the army and concerted action in the economic pressure on Russia through sanctions.

As noted Stoltenberg, the key to Euro-Atlantic security is “an independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law.” According to him, NATO is ready to assist Ukraine in achieving this goal.

US President Barack Obama at the summit said that Russia’s actions in Ukraine threaten peace in Europe, and stressed that Washington will continue to support Kiev. As reported by radio “Freedom”, he called Russia’s actions in Ukraine among the main threats faced by NATO, and said that the unit will not restore its relations with Moscow in its entirety as long as it does not fulfill the Minsk agreements signed in the Belarusian capital in 2015.

At the summit, NATO approved a package of assistance to Kiev. According to Stoltenberg, the measures, which are essentially Advisory in nature, will help to improve the efficiency and responsibility of the institutions of defence and security of Ukraine.

NATO has been helping Ukraine in the areas of rehabilitation of wounded soldiers, logistics and computer security. Now assistance will be provided in the region of the opponents threats of improvised explosive devices and hybrid war. According to Poroshenko, assistance will be provided in 40 areas concerning defense capability, defense and security. For proper coordination of this activity will increase the number of NATO advisers in Ukraine, including appointment of a special coordinator” — quoted its RIA “Novosti”.

On joining the Alliance Ukraine speech does not go yet: the country was in the process of implementation of reforms. As reported, the Latvian portal Delfi, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Latvia of Edgars Rinkēvičs, in the coming years, NATO will not be invited by any one country, except Montenegro.

At the summit separately, a question was raised about the elections in the Donbass. According to Poroshenko, the leaders of the “big five” on the sidelines of the summit endorsed the position of Kiev that the vote should be conducted only after creating the necessary security conditions. As noted by the Ukrainian edition Online.ua answering the question of journalists about when elections will be held, Poroshenko said that this will happen only after of the withdrawal of the Russian occupation troops”.