Anders Fogh Rasmussen: NATO cannot bow to Russia

  • Putin’s proposals are not a serious one from a man who claims he wants peace, writes Rasmussen
  • And he adds that Putin is skilled in triggering crises only to extinguish them later, like a firefighter trying to suppress what he set on fire
  • Putin plays bad cards well, but his tactic will only work if we fold – it’s time for NATO to say “check” on his bluff – writes the author
  • We should end Putin’s effective veto against Ukraine and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations by fueling low-intensity conflicts in these countries
  • Rasmussen: If Putin invades, we must send significant military aid to Ukraine and introduce economic sanctions that will cripple the Russian economy, including canceling the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

Original article on POLITICO.eu website

When I met Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time as NATO Secretary General, he started our meeting by telling me he wanted to disband NATO.

If NATO allies become involved in Russia’s latest proposals regarding new security conditions in Europe, they will directly help it come one step closer to achieving its goal, giving Russia power over the security of Central and Eastern Europe.

Under the new Russian proposals, NATO would have to obtain Moscow’s approval to deploy troops in Central and Eastern Europe, refrain from “any military activity” in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia, and halt all NATO exercises near Russia.

The proposed agreement also requires a written guarantee that Ukraine will not be offered NATO membership, and that the draft treaty with the United States would prohibit it from sending warships and aircraft to regions such as the Baltic and Black Sea “from which they can hit targets in the other party’s territory. “.

This is not a serious offer from a man who claims to want peace.

Russia has tried this exercise before. In November 2009, NATO rejected the draft Treaty on European Security proposed by Russia because NATO-Russia relations are already sufficiently regulated in the Founding Act on Mutual Relations of 1997, the Security Charter of the European Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with 1999 and the Rome Declaration of 2002 – the latter took significant steps to align with Russia and encourage dialogue through the establishment of the NATO-Russia Council.

The rest of the text is below the video.

Putin is skilled at triggering crises only to extinguish them later, like a firefighter trying to suppress what he set on fire. Threatening to invade Ukraine, he calculated that the United States and other Western powers could negotiate directly with the Kremlin – potentially over the heads of their Eastern European and Baltic allies – offering concessions and allowing it to retain influence in the former Soviet Union in exchange for peace.

Putin plays bad cards well – but his tactic will only work if we fold. And it’s time for NATO to say “check” on Putin’s bluff.

Under no circumstances should the United States or NATO make commitments regarding its future enlargement, be it actual or de facto. Russia has already signed the 1999 OSCE Charter, which grants “the inherent right to each participating country to freely choose or amend its security arrangements, including alliance treaties, as they develop.”

It also means that we should put an end to Putin’s actual veto against Ukraine and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, achieved by fueling low-intensity conflicts in those countries, the scale of which Putin tweaks and reduces, aligning with his program.

We promised Georgia and Ukraine a place at the NATO table in 2008, and it is time for us to come up with an action plan to deliver on our promise. If necessary, we can do so with the proviso that NATO’s Article 5 only covers territories under Kiev and Tbilisi control, but NATO cannot pursue an open-door policy on enlargement, in which it still allows Putin to play the role of doorman.

Will Putin invade Ukraine? Only he really knows it. But if he does, we must send significant military aid to Ukraine and introduce economic sanctions that will paralyze the Russian economy, including the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Ukrainians are battle-hardened people ready to fight for freedom, which most of Europe took for granted, and we should not forget in the free world that they are also fighting for our freedom. History tells us that aggressors usually don’t stop in their own neighborhood.

NATO is an alliance of peace. It wants nothing but peaceful cooperation with Russia and has sought to include Moscow in the discussion on European security architecture. But this cooperation was hampered by Putin’s behavior.

Even after Russia destroyed the rules-based international order in 2014, we continued to pursue dialogue. Dialogue is important, but it must be on our terms, recognizing that we are not negotiating on the basis of threats and escalation.

NATO cannot negotiate under the barrel of a rifle. And if we withdraw now, this signal will be heard loud and clear, both from the democracies that rely on us and the autocrats who complain and fear our freedom.

Editing: Michał Broniatowski

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About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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