The U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute said about the impossibility of further expansion of the Alliance in the coming years for fear of destabilizing Russia, according to Reuters. “From a practical point of view I don’t see particularly additional space for the expansion of NATO in the near future, possibly in the next few years, maybe even longer,” said the diplomat, speaking at a meeting on security Aspen Security Forum, held in London.
According to Loot, NATO is in a “inflection point”, and the Alliance faces a restructuring that is comparable in scale with the moment of the end of the cold war. In addition, the unit does not want to aggravate internal weaknesses of Russia, the Ambassador said.
“I believe that Russia plays an important role in the strategic environment, and this strategic environment will slow down the expansion of NATO,” — said the Loot, adding that taking into account the approval of the “internal weaknesses of Russia and perhaps its continuing decline, it is probably not worth suing now and likely to accelerate or to destabilize this process.”
Lute stated that the admission of new members to NATO must unanimous soglie all 28 Alliance members, which is unlikely. “We will not achieve consensus in the near future about the acquisition <…> Georgia or Ukraine,” the diplomat said.
In December last year, NATO has invited the Alliance in Montenegro. The Russian foreign Ministry called it “openly confrontational step, fraught with additional destabilizing consequences for Euro-Atlantic security system”, and warned of “appropriate reaction”.
In February the Minister of foreign Affairs of Hungary Peter Siarto stated that NATO should complete process included in the Alliance of Montenegro, as well as to begin accession of Macedonia and Georgia.
The representative of the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova accused the West of trying to involve NATO in Serbia. This year Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic confirmed the agreement between Serbia and NATO from 2006, which provides for freedom of movement of members of the Alliance in the country and gives them diplomatic immunity.
In early March during his visit to Moscow, Nikolic said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is sympathetic to cooperation between Serbia and NATO.