NATO with countries-members of the Alliance Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania can increase its presence in the Black sea as part of a strategy to contain Russia. This was announced on Friday in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Deputy Secretary General of NATO Alexander Vershbow, reports Reuters.
“Being a very valuable discussion with allies that live on the shore of the Black sea <…> about a closer integration of their naval forces,” — said Vershbow.
He reminded that NATO has been patrolling the Black sea, however, by that time, as Western leaders meet at the NATO summit in July, the allies could “expand its presence” in the region. “We need to consider a more persistent presence of NATO troops in the region, with a special emphasis on our marine opportunities,” he said.
In Sofia Vershbow participated in a meeting of the Atlantic club in the conference on security in the Black sea. “The strategy of Russia in the Black sea is part of a global effort to assert themselves — efforts that stretch from the Arctic to Syria, and are threatening to challenge the NATO unity and the territorial integrity of the Alliance,” Vershbow said in his opening statement (the full text of his speech published on the website of the Alliance).
“We cannot allow Russia to simply ignore the principles on which was founded the European system of security,” he said. “To do this, is to betray our values and only push Russia to risk further aggression,” – said Vershbow.
According to him, the reaction of the Alliance to Russia’s actions has two key elements — strengthen the defense and deterrence policy, as well as “the desire to conduct a dialogue with Russia to demonstrate that we are United and determined to reduce the risk of conflict through transparency and predictability”.
“This combination of force and dialogue is the best way, in my opinion, to return Russia to compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki and international law,” he said.