NATO promised to explain Russia’s military presence in Eastern Europe


NATO is in active dialogue with Moscow on the resumption of work in the format of Council Russia-the NATO, said the Secretary General of the Alliance Jens Stoltenberg at a press conference following two-day meeting of defense Ministers of NATO countries in Brussels.

The day before he talked about the intention to hold a meeting on the eve of the NATO summit at the level of heads of States of participating countries, which will be held on 8-9 July in Warsaw. Now the Alliance negotiates with Russia, the timing of the bilateral Council and its agenda. According to Stoltenberg, for his part, NATO is ready to discuss at the meeting issues of its military presence.

“We believe that the Board is useful for many reasons. One of them is that on such forums we will be able to warn Russia about its military presence in Poland and the Baltic States. NATO is both transparent and predictable. Informing each other can reduce the risks of wrong calculations, which is especially important in conditions of high tension,” — said Stoltenberg. The military presence in the former countries of the Soviet camp, the NATO Secretary General called “fully consistent with international obligations of the Alliance.”

On the eve of the Ministry of defense announced the beginning of large-scale inspections of the armed forces “to assess the combat and mobilization readiness. As argued by Deputy defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, reports of it were given to the apparatuses of military attaches at embassies and through the channels of the OSCE and States members of the Vienna document have been sent the appropriate notice.

Stoltenberg, commenting on the sudden nature of the test, said that the surprise inspections are used to inform about the exercise of the other parties, and it “undermines stability”.

“We have seen information in the media about the new flash exercises. For a long time we have seen a few of these exercises. The problem is that did not respect agreements, including the Vienna document on surveillance and monitoring exercises. Therefore, it is undermining military transparency,” the NATO Secretary General at a press conference on 15 June, noting that NATO supports the strengthening of existing mechanisms of monitoring exercises, including the improvement of the Vienna document.

If the parties agree on new Council Russia-NATO, it will be the first such meeting in two years. Military cooperation of the Alliance with Moscow was completely collapsed in April 2014, shortly after the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis. Prior to this, the work of the Council was suspended from August 2008 to March 2009 — after the war in South Ossetia.