Nato aggravating tensions – Russian official

Moscow - Nato is ratcheting up tensions by boosting its military presence on Europe's eastern flank and Moscow will adapt its defence policy accordingly, a senior Russian official said on Tuesday.

Nato's planned action at this week's summit "is evidence of the desire of US and Nato leaders to continue their policy of aggravating tensions with Russia", Mikhail Popov, the deputy head of Russia's National Security Council, told RIA-Novosti news agency in an interview.

"I have no doubt that the question of the approach of Nato members' military infrastructure to our border" will be taken into consideration as "one of the foreign military threats to Russia" when the country's defence doctrine is updated later this year, he said.

At a summit in Wales on Thursday and Friday Nato leaders are expected to approve deployment of thousands of Nato troops and military equipment to Eastern Europe.

Increased commitment

While that is intended to reassure Nato member states in the former Soviet bloc, it is angering the Kremlin as it challenges a key understanding that Nato would not station troops and weapons in new members.

This increased commitment in the east will involve the rotation of troops through member states at upgraded military facilities, with equipment pre-positioned to speed up the response time.

Since the troops would not be permanently based there, the alliance does not see it as breaching the terms of the 1997 Nato-Russia Founding Act which fixed Europe's post-Cold War borders.

The idea of the expansion of Nato into former Soviet states, which started with the Baltic countries in 2004, continues to rankle with the Kremlin.

Russia's recent actions

Popov said that US and Nato leaders reassured Moscow that they are not Russia's enemy and would never attack Russia, "but is this so?"

"The reassured us of their good intentions, but their actions of recent years tell completely different story," he said.

Russia's recent actions have been motivated by a desire to thwart Nato expansion.

President Vladmir Putin justified the seizure of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine earlier this year in order to prevent Nato from taking it over.

The barely covert support for pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine is also seen by analysts as being aimed at destabilising Ukraine and discouraging Nato from considering a membership bid from Kiev.

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Willem Proost 2014/09/02 05:04:11 PM
1945 all over again let us hope the free world stop the Russians from starting a new world war
Mashai Joannes 2014/09/02 05:05:44 PM
Nato is a threat to russian national security and putin must order all military units on standby in the event of any aggression by the war-mongers.the world should be very wary of nato and its millitary tactics.
Wehr Wulf 2014/09/02 05:19:12 PM
Russian propaganda. Start a war with your neighbour, annex territory and then claim "Who me, what have we done to deserve you putting up your fists?"
Sean Mitchell 2014/09/02 05:47:00 PM
The EU comprises 28 states 11 of which have suffered under the yoke of Russian domination or aggression over the past century. Namely Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany (eastern part), Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. These countries have decided that their futures will be better served by not being dominated by Russia with it's imperialistic ambitions. None of them derived any benefit from being under Russian control. The Ukrainians want to join in, and as a sovereign state have every right to do so without Russian interference. Try asking the citizens of any of the aforementioned countries, how keen they would be totally leave them EU and be dominates again by might y Russia
Bongani 2014/09/02 05:54:16 PM
ones nato goes to ukrain there will be hell of a war cz russia will not allow americans next to their boarder
Sean Mitchell 2014/09/02 06:23:39 PM
Hi Vox. I disagree with you on almost everything but I'm glad you post here, not too interested in reading only stuff I agree with. After Boston you advised me to see a"conspiracy" movie about 9 11. It was entertaining but was thoroughly debunked hogwash. Re Cuba. In 1961 the world was devided between 2 basically irreconcilable views. Russia is now ostensibly a capitalist democracy but cannot shake off this historic, Czarist, desire to always dominate. Can you imagine if Russia could bring herself to be an honest partner and join the EU. Guess what they can't because they always have to be boss.
Lawrence Robert Atkinson 2014/09/02 07:09:35 PM
Russian speak for be quite when I'm invading other country
Sean Mitchell 2014/09/02 07:44:58 PM
Thank you Louie. I think I can say with confidence that the only times I've been rude on this forum is whilst drunk. I must disagree about the EU. I have visited Germany, Belgium and Holland a couple of times this year and they are actually doing rather well, thank you very much. I travelled quite extensively by rail. Now train tracks don't generally pass through the most salubrious areas, but everywhere there was a comfortable, solid, pretty fair society. In Germany, with such a history of militarism and intolerance I found things quite striking
Mhlts Petrus 2014/09/02 10:11:18 PM
US n nato send their kid ukraine to provoke the master of chess russia,russia hit the kid hard so that the sender should think twice when they suppose to confrand the kid hitter.
I.j. Mthimunye 2014/09/03 02:12:26 PM
If Russia doesn't act now, it will end up like N Korea when the is exercise drills with Ukraine and Nato, it must fire thousands ballistic missiles in the air, so no black sea for Nato.