Posted on 01/17/2022 16:30
Vladimir Putin – (Credit: MIKHAIL VOSKRESENSKIY)
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) wants to reduce its presence in Eastern European countries that were part of the former Soviet Union. However, for Coalition Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Moscow’s actions have had the opposite effect.
In an interview with Stoltenberg, he said that if the Kremlin attacked Ukraine, NATO would expand its presence in the region. “If his goal is to bring NATO closer to its borders, Putin has achieved the opposite,” he said. “Every time he’s aggressive, he gets the opposite.”
If the Russians move forward with an invasion, the organization will evaluate how to better integrate troops into member states. “Of course, if Russia uses force again, we will act again,” Stoltenberg said. “Exactly how – what kind of resources and where – well, is something we need to determine in light of what is really going on.”
For Western diplomats, the difference between Putin’s demands for NATO’s withdrawal and Russia’s actions prompted the coalition to strengthen its front lines, deepening doubts about Moscow’s integrity in recent talks.
Russia has demanded that NATO not add Ukraine or other new members and withdraw its troops from Eastern Europe.
Federal officials say they believe Russia is aware of the impossibility of its demands and is looking for an excuse to attack Ukraine.
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