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Saturday, December 10, 2016

How Russia can beat NATO


On may 14, 1955 in the capital of Poland was decided on the establishment of Pro-Soviet military bloc — the Warsaw Pact. 61 years and nearly two months after this event in the very capital of Poland will host the most ambitious in the history of the NATO summit. It’s a shame? Of course. But even more offensive to Moscow would be the solution, which, as already known, will be taken at a meeting of leaders of 28 NATO States in the presence of many invited guests, including representatives of the UN and the world Bank.


photo: ru.wikipedia.org

1949. U.S. President Harry Truman signed the Treaty creating NATO. Could it then anyone to assume that 67 years later, the NATO summit will be held in Warsaw, and its agenda will feature the quartering of German troops in Lithuania?

In the Baltic States and Poland — countries that are vociferous in trumpeting his insecurity in front of “very probable Russian aggression” — will be posted on the battalion of NATO troops numbering 800-1200 people every. As wrote the new York times stationed in Estonia battalion will command the British. Lithuanians went to the Germans, the poles — to their delight — Americans. And only the Latvians somehow I have not been able to pick up “elder brother in arms.” As expected, this role will be able to persuade the Canadians.

As I wrote just above, to read about all Russian patriot extremely unpleasant. But to treat such a “bold step for NATO” fear is ridiculous. To expect that with one battalion of Germans, Lithuanians will be able to stop full-scale Russian aggression” is the same thing as believing that the best defense in the event of meeting with an enraged bear in the woods is a fly swatter.

The more that we worry about what military force can fight back the offensive of the Russian army in Lithuania, or, say, Poland? Of course, politicians in Warsaw, Vilnius, Riga or Tallinn in the coming years are unlikely to believe it. But, in my deepest conviction, in addition to small and having no influence on the power of the marginal group of fanatics and radicals, no one in Russia is going to “re-conquer” the state. Well, we do not need — albeit in vain — shore of the Lithuanian, Latvian and Polish and Estonian.

But does it follow that the expected decisions of the NATO summit — is a colorful but harmless saber-rattling? From my point of view, there should not be. The expected decision of the NATO summit — it is a conscious provocation of Russia on the emotional, an ill-considered and ill-considered steps and statements. And, to my great regret, before the start of the action in Warsaw to conclude that such tactics are willing to pick up Moscow on the hook” Western politicians partially works — and works very well.

Asked last week during his visit to Finland on a journalist’s question about the security situation in the Baltic sea region, Vladimir Putin among other things, made the following statement: “to announce that there will be increased contingent of NATO in the Baltic countries. The movement of our troops on our own territory is declared elements of aggressive behavior, and NATO military exercises near our borders, these somehow don’t count. We believe that this is absolutely unfair and does not correspond to reality. What should we do in response to the increased presence of NATO at our borders? Let me remind you that Russia has accepted the decision and implemented it: we are from the Finnish-Russian border took our troops to 1,500 km.

Upon hearing this statement, GDP, I decided to start calculating distances. And that’s what I got: distance between Helsinki and Moscow is 893 km. in a straight line Is no Russian troops there, not only around Moscow, but also in the territory which is 600 km from our capital? And all this in order to please our dear Finnish friends? Not too noble we behave in relation to them?

Of course, this is Vladimir Putin’s statement of not more than caused by the intensity of emotions disclaimer. However, my very serious concern: the poutine, which I used, is a kind of man-machine. This policy, which in key matters of foreign policy is not guided by emotions and cold calculation. This is a leader who to the smallest details have studied the problem that it currently considers key to the country. It is the speaker who makes such hurtful and obvious to every error.

Of course, the old woman is proruha. Even machines break down and make mistakes. What else can be said about creatures of flesh and blood? Alas, to say, from my point of view, is still there. Disclaimer Putin in the Finnish city of Naantali — this is not the “first bell”. Emotional, not rational behavior issues associated with NATO, it seems, is gradually becoming the norm for the Russian leadership.

Last year, to the delight of the leadership of Montenegro, NATO invited the country to become the 29th member of the Alliance. Moscow’s reaction to this event is reminiscent of the anger and resentment of the rejected lover. Many of our officials publicly sent the Montenegrin leadership around the following message: if you join NATO, your relationship with Russia to develop along a very different trajectory than before.

From a human point of view, this our reaction is understandable and explainable. All the “historically grounded” people in Russia remember the famous toast of Emperor Alexander III “for my only friend, the Montenegrin Prince Nicholas!”. To Montenegro in our country a very special relationship — other than to other foreign countries. The issue of membership of Montenegro in NATO, the Russian leadership feels like a Caesar at the moment of pronouncing them the phrase: “And you, Brutus!”.

But how is the feeling justified? Carries whether the membership of Montenegro in NATO is a real threat to Russia’s security? No, not responsible. Moreover, given historical and traditional sympathy for Russia a significant part of the Montenegrin population, in the future, Russian membership in NATO may be even in the hands of Moscow. Friend within NATO Russia does not interfere.

Why then do we now make crazy hands and pretend that there is something absolutely awful? Why, being in the closest, friendly and partnership relations with some NATO members, we declare the leaders in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica: join the Alliance, we will no longer be friends with you? Where did these double standards, which we so love to blame the West?

Of course, under Moscow’s behavior in the issue of membership of Montenegro in NATO is in principle possible to bring a rational basis. Supposedly, a major part of the population of the Republic wants to join NATO. And if so, then why not support it? In addition, where Montenegro is, there is Serbia, isn’t it? From my point of view, not so. From the point of view of real policies, Montenegro has long been a member of the Western bloc. Recall how the lack of sentimentality she joined the regime of Western sanctions against Russia.

As to Serbia, it did not join NATO and does not impose sanctions against Moscow is not in the power of memories about the old friendship of Serbs and Russians.” Belgrade is also driven by naked interest. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia is a barrier to international recognition of independence, rejected by Serbia of Kosovo. Of course, Belgrade has a vested interest in maintaining this barrier and the lack of a quarrel with Moscow.

Russia’s attempts to prevent the accession of Montenegro — the desire to quickly close the stables, which were long gone a horse. Okay if these attempts had no effect. But it’s not. They harm our interests. A few months ago the passions around the possible accession of Montenegro to NATO has led in this country to events, reminiscent of the attempt to capture the power of the authorities. And participants of these events were including people closely connected with Russia.

Not being a connoisseur of Montenegrin policy, I naturally do not blame anyone. I’m just stating that our “sworn friends” from among us “hawks” and politicians in Warsaw, Vilnius and Riga more than anything I want to provoke Russia on the front the arms race with NATO. These figures — whether it’s retired us commander of NATO forces in Europe Philip Breedlove and Polish Ministers of the ruling party of Kaczynski — only seem ludicrous and comical characters.

They especially make grotesque statements. They specifically want us to annoy, to provoke, to make you do stupid things. The best way to answer them is not to succumb to these attempts. The rising geopolitical tension in Europe is not in Russia’s interests. We need to decrease this tension, and we must work consistently to achieve this. Of course, the build-up of military infrastructure of NATO near our borders, too, cannot remain unanswered.

This answer, however, Russia cannot and should not be symmetrical. In the long term, a balanced answer dooms us to defeat. Putin, in my view, should clearly understand this report. In the current difficult situation, the President of Russia has no right to be angry and give vent to emotions. He is now only right to think. In Syria, Russia has already demonstrated his ability to give the West an asymmetric response. Think, Vladimir Vladimirovich! I am sure that you will be able to come up with something else!

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