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Thursday, July 27, 2017

That the Warsaw summit of NATO is preparing for us

The Warsaw NATO summit, which will be held in the Polish capital on 8-9 July, may be one of the watershed events in the life of the Alliance. The exceptional nature of the 27th meeting of heads of countries — members of the Alliance has repeatedly stated as its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the authorities of the summit host Poland and other countries. “MK” tried to figure out what to expect in the Warsaw summit and what it means for Russia in particular.

Who benefits from “Russian threat”?

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter one of the main objectives of the meeting in Warsaw sees a discussion of the contribution of countries participating in NATO in General. It is, of course, primarily about financial cost. While countries in the course of the 2014 summit in Wales — it seems to be able to agree that “contribution” each of them must be equal to 2% of its GDP. But, notes the American commander in this area, “more needs to be done.

According to Director General of the International Institute of political expertise Evgeny Minchenko, the desire to obtain more funds on the “content” of the Alliance from member States is behind words of its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. It is known to be said that although NATO does not want confrontation with Russia, Russia considers the Alliance as a direct threat. Previously, Mr. Stoltenberg said the deployment of NATO forces in Eastern Europe “adequate” response to Russian foreign policy.

“From the point of view of factual Stoltenberg, of course, wrong, but he’s right, in terms of ideological, pragmatic — notes in this regard Yevgeny Minchenko. Such statements typically put the task of obtaining additional funding NATO the countries that will host the Alliance forces. The fact that the Secretary General speaks the truth, in my opinion, obviously, but it makes it understandable goal. It’s like the story with Sweden — as soon as the country must approve the military budget, there immediately begin to look for a Russian submarine”.

By the way, referred to Sweden, the Alliance is not included, always insists on the development of a joint approach to security in the region. “Many of the countries around the Baltic sea are members of NATO, reminded the Swedish defense Minister Peter Hultqvist. — We don’t belong to NATO but are in the same environment, the same geographic setting, so we have common interests.” At the same time Sweden is in the Alliance not only composed, but even to join it (and, therefore, to give 2% of their GDP on their needs) is not going to.

In the very same USA which was the driving force of NATO, the situation regarding block funding is still in limbo. Obama, who gives NATO a huge value, the White house will soon leave, but Donald trump, who is tipped as a presidential future, has already made it clear that his membership in the Alliance is not to their liking: “We are defending Europe with NATO’s assistance, but spend a lot of money,” complained said eccentric Republican.

In addition to discussing financial issues, of course, will be raised the problems of a military nature. So, former commander of the United NATO forces in Europe Philip Breedlove in the run-up to the Warsaw summit, has expressed hope that members of the Alliance will be able to consolidate the agreements reached two years ago. Then, we recall, at the meeting in Wales of the countries — participants of NATO was accepted the decision on creation of rapid reaction forces: the so-called “Spearhead” for deployment in the case of “Russian aggression”.

“NATO is the main instrument of American presence in Europe”

However, according to some Russian analysts, after the recent vote to withdraw Britain from the EU, our “Western partners” should take a somewhat different problem, not “Russian threat”.

“After the referendum on leaving the UK all standard NATO statement about the “Russian threat” completely lose their meaning, — said the head of sector of regional security issues RISS Igor Nikolaichuk. — The European Union is defeated. This is not geopolitical and, most importantly, geo-economic rival to the United States. From the point of view of regional security, geopolitics we now live in a new reality. And I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the main issues at the NATO summit was the question of how soon Germany out of NATO. Was already a statement of the foreign Minister of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, about the futility of “saber rattling” of the Alliance — before NATO summit, and that’s saying a lot”.

Indeed, Steinmeier made a number of unflattering statements about the General NATO policy. This, according to Igor Nikolaychuk, may be due to the growing dissatisfaction in Germany need to follow in the footsteps of the Alliance (and, hence, in the Wake of the US), disregarding their own interests.

“In modern conditions of NATO in the first place is a main and most powerful instrument of American presence in Europe — recalls the expert. — What does Russia, the so-called “Russian threat”, which the Alliance itself was invented? When the American General, the commander of NATO forces in Europe, in 1949, asked why we need the Alliance, he said, to keep USA in Europe, the Soviet Union outside Europe, and most importantly — not to give up Germany. Now all three of these goals accomplished, but Germany instead got nothing. And why should she now NATO? The British have shown that globalization has swung back, giving place to national interests. Of course, this does not mean that Germany immediately left the Alliance. But, in my opinion, it is only a matter of time before such a step is taken — a year or two.”

Will the Alliance Ukraine?

Solving the problem by depriving Germany of all kinds of prospects for dominance in Europe, the Americans want to “discipline” her with the help of NATO, said Igor Nikolaichuk, but for this it was necessary to give new impetus to this Association. “That’s why, when began the events in Ukraine and voices were raised calling for the U.S. to “punish” Russia, Obama said that the European space will be addressed through the Alliance. NATO to that point was almost dead, but the topic of the “Russian threat” against Ukraine and Europe literally brought it to life. The Americans, mind you, do not give money directly to the Ukrainians — they produce them to the Alliance.”

However, in Kiev, do not lose hope — according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, at the summit in Warsaw will be agreed and prepared a comprehensive aid package to his country. However, what will be included in this package, “aimed at strengthening the defense of Ukraine, he explained.

No less active in Ukrainian political circles discussed the prospect of full accession to the Alliance. However, according to Yevgeny Minchenko, this issue is unlikely to be developed at the Warsaw meeting: “Apparently, will be the strengthening of the military potential of NATO. But it is obvious that neither Ukraine nor Moldova or Georgia, the Alliance in its membership now will not accept. And everything else in General not so significantly”, — he stressed in an interview with “MK”.

Resume—Russia Council NATO is beneficial to all

Shortly before the summit, citing anonymous sources in Russian government circles there is information that Moscow and the Alliance will hold a meeting in the format of Council Russia—NATO. A week before the meeting with Poland these data were confirmed — the event will take place 4 days after the end of the Warsaw summit, July 13.

Despite the fact that in connection with events in Ukraine and the subsequent actions of both Russia and the Alliance the results of the Council leave much to be desired, the interaction in this format is still beneficial for both parties, says Igor Nikolaichuk: “When someone wants to call a truce, at first this is stated timidly, on the level of leakage. Talk about the resumption of work of the Council Russia—NATO being a long time, and now it would be very appropriate. Primarily, this is beneficial to the Alliance, because the new “cold war” no one is interested. What purposes can reach Americans, intensifying the confrontation with Russia? NATO, again, is a tool of US influence in Europe. And wherever the Americans could take the place of the Germans, they already did”.

In addition, there are a number of very specific tasks that need to be addressed here and now: “There are disturbing factors as, for example, constant incidents between Russian and NATO aircraft and ships,” recalls Yevgeny Minchenko. — It would be very right — even if the overall deterioration of relations is to develop some protocols, to avoid future such cases and possible aggravation of the situation. Because one day when such an incident one of the parties can open fire and we get a story like that with Turkey.” That the incidents between forces of Russia and NATO on the water and in the air will be discussed at the Council, it has already been stated officially.

“We need a factor, rallying the remaining members of the EU”

Returning to the discussion of the Warsaw meeting, a few people waiting for breakthroughs about the relationship between the Alliance and Moscow.

“I don’t think that the logic of searching for an enemy in Russia will undergo changes according to the results of the summit, said in an interview with “MK” Yevgeny Minchenko. — I recently returned from London, came there in bookstores — and here, for example, on a shelf, so conspicuous, stood the book the British General on the forthcoming, according to him, in 2017 the war with Russia. That is, it is seen that the demand for such rhetoric exists, especially in the context of a British exit from the European Union — a necessary factor, rallying the remaining members of the EU. And talk about the “Russian threat” in this case is quite convenient and welcome.”

“If at the NATO summit all goes according to plan and will expect harsh statements about the “Russian threat”, about Putin’s authoritarianism, the need to conduct exercises, to help Ukraine to strengthen the southern flank of the Alliance, for me as a professional, it will sound a clown — said, in turn, Igor Nikolaichuk. — This, however, does not mean that we should be bystanders. In the end NATO is a powerful military machine, and therefore our compensation arrangements, including in the nuclear field, should work. Responsible politicians, among which, in my opinion, are the Russian leaders, I will try, of course, in varying degrees, to use the hostility of the Alliance for their own purposes — primarily electoral. Because politics is neither good nor bad, it is appropriate”.

“Will, of course, a kind of duty comments — predicts the reaction to the results of the summit, Evgeny Minchenko. — As for the additional deployment of Russian Armed forces on the border with the countries of the Alliance, strengthen our presence — so the head of the Russian presidential Administration Sergei Ivanov said, and not so long ago”.

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