Under a very tense political and security situation, NATO foreign ministers are meeting in Latvia. Russia is amassing significant forces on the border with Ukraine, and the big question is what President Vladimir Putin’s next step will be.
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For Anniken Huitfeldt, this is the first time she has participated as Secretary of State. However, she has already met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
At this foreign ministers’ meeting, it is particularly important that NATO highlights the fact that allies stand together against Putin’s use of military force as a means of political pressure.
Foreign ministers should send a clear message that military aggression will have consequences.
Stoltenberg’s cat pain: Russia will not talk to NATO
At the same time, NATO should try to keep the lines of communication open to Moscow. Many contacts have been cut in recent years. This contributes to more uncertainty and stress. There have been no meetings of the NATO-Russia Council since the summer of 2019. The repeated attempts of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to resume dialogue have not been answered.
Russia bears full responsibility for the breach of NATO and the United States and what they call anti-Russian hysteria in Western countries. Indeed, Russia bears the responsibility for icy relations. The main reason is the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the active support of pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Stoltenberg: Force against Ukraine will cost Russia
In Western countries, there is a great deal of uncertainty about what President Vladimir Putin is planning now. Will it really start a full-scale invasion of Ukraine? Or is the building of power part of the mental war against the West?
It is clear that Putin will draw a red line on Ukraine that NATO will not cross. He does not want Ukraine to receive more military support from the West. He certainly does not want Ukraine to become a member of NATO. Putin is stepping up his efforts to mobilize more than 100,000 troops on the border. But in Russian propaganda, it is NATO that threatens Russia with its continued expansion in the East.
The meeting of NATO foreign ministers was held in Latvia. Like other countries in the former Warsaw Pact, Latvia chose to apply for membership in the Western Defense Alliance. Independent countries decide for themselves where they want to belong.
The United States reiterated its support for Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity. Russia does not. They have shown this in practice.
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