The Western world is now facing most serious challenges since the “cold war”. In these circumstances, military Alliance, NATO has managed to reverse the declining trend in military expenditures, continuing not only to strengthen the defenses of its members, but also to diversify their actions. These findings are contained in the annual report NATO for the year 2016, released Monday, March 13.
“NATO remains strong because we continue to adapt”, — said at a press conference dedicated to the release of the report, the Secretary General of the Alliance Jens Stoltenberg. According to him, the publication of annual reports on the operation of the unit is a good way to demonstrate transparency to the almost 1 billion residents of the countries-members of NATO.
The turning point for the Alliance in the report is 2014, namely, the actions of Russia in the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis and the dramatic expansion of the territory under the control of the “Islamic state” (LIH, a banned terrorist group). “In the South persist, the instability and violence in the East, Russia continues decisive actions, — said Stoltenberg. according to him, Russia is “undermining the sovereignty of other States”. However, added the Secretary General, to compare Russia and not ISIS: “ISIS are terrorists, while Russia is our neighbour with whom we need a dialogue”.
In the East, NATO continues to deploy four multinational operational and tactical groups. According to Stoltenberg, their placement should be completed in June 2017, and in September the Secretary General expects to participate as an observer in the Russian-Belarusian military exercises “West-2017”.
The report describes the details of the deployment on the Eastern borders of the Alliance. In Estonia, a group headed by the UK, will enter into it also soldiers from Denmark and France. In Latvia will be launched group chaired by Canada, will enter there are also Albanian, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, and Spanish military. In Lithuania a group headed by Germany, it will also consist of the soldiers of Belgium, Croatia, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway. Finally, the group in Poland will lead US, there will include also the representatives of Romania and the UK.
At the same time, the document notes that NATO intends to build its relations with Moscow through regular dialogue “to avoid misunderstandings” and with the aim of increasing mutual transparency and predictability. “At the previous Council Russia-NATO in December 2016 we have already discussed how it is possible to turn this event into a forum for mutual notification of upcoming trainings”, — said at the press conference Stoltenberg.