Strategic buildup

Strategic buildup

Polina Dukhanova, Alena Medvedeva

NATO will take ad-ditional measures to strengthen its positions and build up power on the eastern fla-nk in connection with the latest events in Ukraine, said Mircea Geoana, Deputy Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance. In turn, the L-ithuanian Defense Mini-ster announced that W-ashington and Berlin would send an additional armored battalion and an air defense unit to his country, and the Polish Prime Minister announ-ced his readiness to de-ploy “as many” US soldi-ers on the territory of the republic. Experts believe that NATO is manipulating the Ukrainian crisis in order to increase its potential, thus ignoring all the concerns previously raised by Russia about security guarantees.
The North Atlantic Alliance intends to make additional efforts to strengthen its security due to the situation in Ukraine, on whose territory Russia is conducting a special operation . This was stated in an interview with the Romanian TV channel Digi24 by NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana.
“We will take additional measures to strengthen our position and build up our power on the eastern flank, as the Russian Federation … dealt an unprecedented blow to the security architecture in Europe,” TASS quoted Joané as saying.
According to him, it was Russia’s actions that allegedly forced the alliance to launch a “deep and lengthy process” of reviewing how to protect its territories.
“A decision has been made to form a new battle group in Romania, led by France… In two weeks, the defense ministers will analyze the development of events in the short and medium term. We foresee that the military presence will become much more significant on the entire eastern flank, ”said the NATO Deputy Secretary General.
In particular, he announced the buildup of NATO forces in the Black Sea and in the Baltic Sea region. “We must take steps to adapt our position in a credible, non-escalatory manner,” Geoane explained.
Strategic buildup
The Alliance has long been concentrating forces and strengthening the military infrastructure on the eastern flank. For example, on October 21, 2021, following a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Secretary General of the military bloc Jens Stoltenberg announced an increase in its presence in the Black Sea region.
In turn, in the United States, after conducting an audit of the global deployment of its armed forces in November, they announced their intention to strengthen the military deterrence of Russia in Europe. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Feb. 2 that the United States will send an additional 2,000 troops to Poland and Germany, and another 8,500 troops will be put on high alert to st-rengthen the NATO Resp-onse Force if necessary.
Later, on February 23, Kirby announced plans by the White House to move 800 American troops from Italy to the Baltic states, as well as up to eight F-35 fighter jets from Germany to NATO’s eastern flank.
Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said at a briefing on March 5 that the Pentagon would send an additional armored battalion to the country. Vilnius also expects an air defense unit from Germany and an expansion of the military contingent from the Netherlands.
“Until the end of the month, about 4,000 allied soldiers will be in Lithua-nia,” the minister was quoted by TASS as saying.
In turn, Poland announced plans to deploy as many US soldiers as possible on its territory. As Polish Prime Minister Mat-eusz Morawiecki stressed after a meeting with Secr-etary of State Anthony Bli-nken, Washington agrees on the need to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank.
The United Kingdom did not stand aside either, sending an additional contingent of military personnel along with military equipment to Estonia: its first part arrived in the country on February 25. On the same day, the chancellor of the Ministry of Defense of the Baltic state, Kusti Salm, announ-ced that London plans to transfer up to a battalion of military personnel numbering 1,000 to Estonia.
As Jens Stoltenberg summarized on March 4 following a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, the members of the alliance have already sent thousands of additional troops to the eastern part of the bloc.
“We are deploying a NATO Response Force for the first time. And we have more than 130 aircraft on high alert. And more than 200 ships, from the Far North to the Mediterranean Sea,” said the Secretary General.
Frozen dialogue
Meanwhile, such a build-up of NATO forces in the eastern direction directly contradicts Russia’s demands for security guarantees. And this despite the fact that the European Union previously recognized Moscow’s claims.
“Russia certainly has security concerns. This must be recognized, and we have recognized it. Everyone has security concerns… NATO includes three former Soviet republics – the Baltic countries. This worries Russia, they want to clarify the situation there, and we are ready to do it,” Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy, said on BBC Radio 4 on February 5.
However, as stated by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, at a briefing on March 3, the West still preferred to refuse even the opportunity to discuss Russian initiatives.
“Our country was not only not given guarantees, our country was denied security guarantees … We have written answers in our hands that leave no doubt about the intentions of the NATO bloc and those who lead it, directly the United States, that any talking about those issues that are not just key for us, not just important, but essential, vital and, as our Western colleagues say, existential, and so on all these issues we were denied,” the diplomat said.
Background Gain
Experts interviewed by RT agree that NATO has adapted the unfolding crisis in Ukraine to suit its interests. It is used as a plausible pretext for building up the power of the alliance in the eastern direction, explained Andrey Koshkin, a military political scientist, head of the department of political science and sociology at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics.
“It all started with an information and propaganda hysteria. Under this noise, the United States and Great Britain transferred military forces and equipment to Europe. The alliance itself has made optimization and redeployment of its units. Then Russia launched a special operation, and NATO, led by the United States, got the opportunity to attribute everything to confronting “Russian aggression.” And the West has been practicing such manipulation of circumstances throughout its existence, ”the expert noted.
In turn, the head of the Bureau of Military-Poli-tical Analysis Alexander Mikhailov expressed the opinion that the situation with Ukraine gave NATO a new meaning of existence.
“After the Cold War, the alliance was out of business. Because in a unipolar world, building a global military bloc was absurd and fraught with unnecessary expenses. However, Russia managed to regain its position in the international arena, and NATO regained its raison d’être, which had to be strengthened by exposing the Rus-sian Federation as an aggre-ssor. And Ukraine was chosen as a tool to achieve this goal,” the analyst said.
In addition, as Pavel Feldman, deputy director of the RUDN Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts, noted in a RT commentary, the military conflict in Ukraine plays into the hands of not only NATO as a whole, but also its main beneficiary, the United States.
“In the course of this conflict, economic difficulties are created for the Russian Federation, its resources are depleted. And NATO, together with the United States, is watching this mini-war, assessing the military-technical capabilities of Russia. So what is happening now is the solution by the bloc and the Americans of their situational geopolitical tasks at the expense of another state that is not part of their military alliance and is not protected by it, ”Feldman explained.
He also believes that after the completion of the Russian special operation, one should not expect any fundamental dialogue between Russia, the United States and NATO on security guarantees, since they have all raised the stakes too high.
“At the moment, the only tool keeping Russia and NATO from direct military clashes is the presence of nuclear weapons on both sides. It is this that serves as a guarantor of global security, because the time for agreements in the spirit of Reykjavik or Helsinki, unfortunately, has already passed,” the expert said.
At the same time, Alexander Mikhailov did not rule out that the prospect of a dialogue between the parties still exists.
“Not everyone in NATO supports the bloc’s confrontational course, which is inspired by Washington. The same Germany, to the last, adhered to neutrality in this matter. Therefore, there is a chance that, having assessed the Ukrainian events, European countries will decide that they do not want even the slightest likelihood of a similar conflict unfolding on their territory, and will make efforts to return to the diplomatic track,” the analyst concluded.

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