Money matters: discussed by the foreign Ministers of the NATO countries

Tillerson confused plans

Friday, 31 March, in Brussels the meeting of foreign Ministers of the NATO countries. Scheduled for April 5-6 meeting, the Alliance was forced to move a week early because of the work schedule of the Secretary of state Rex Tillerson. Last week, Reuters reported that Tillerson will miss a meeting of NATO in Brussels to attend the talks, U.S. President Donald trump with the President of China, XI Jinping, is scheduled for April 6-7 at the winter residence of trump in Florida. The transfer allowed Tillerson first meet with NATO colleagues in Brussels.

“Our relations are still needed to address national and international security in an increasingly unstable world,” he said following the meeting, Tillerson, showing solidarity with colleagues in the unit. Key issues of the negotiations of Ministers aimed at strengthening the transatlantic ties, the increase in defense spending and a more equitable distribution between the allies, and the fight against terrorism. These issues will be discussed by the heads of state of countries of the Alliance, which will take place on 25 may in Brussels and take part in which will President trump.

The money issue

At the first session of the meeting, Tillerson reminded that the United States “no longer can bear a disproportionate share of defense spending of NATO” and urged allies to fulfill their obligations under the Welsh agreements reached in September 2014. Then the heads of state and government pledged to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP by 2024. so far only four countries in NATO — Estonia, Greece, Poland and the UK — reached the approved figure.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with the position of the United States did not argue. He had already repeatedly pointed at the summit confirmed that all of the countries participating in the NATO and support the need to increase its contributions to defensive expenditure. The decision was made not to please the United States, and to ensure the security of the European Union against the background of conflicts in the middle East and North Africa and “offensive” policy of Russia, he said at a press conference.

Disagreement was expressed by the foreign Minister of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel. “Two percent [of GDP] military expenditures amounting to about 70 billion euros. I don’t know any German politician who would argue that this is achievable or desirable,” said Gabriel at the first meeting with Tillerson. Previously, Gabriel said that Germany has enough invested in the stability and security of the Alliance countries, including spending money on the integration of refugees.

At the summit in may, according to Tillerson, the heads of state must agree that by the end of this year, all the allies had met its obligations or provided a clear plan for achieving the 2 per cent of GDP. This plan can be identified annual commitments for the implementation of the intermediate indicators, said Tillerson. Stoltenberg at a press conference said that now will work on drawing up “national plans” to achieve the agreed targets.

The Russian question

On 31 March the foreign Ministers of NATO also met with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin, who briefed on the situation in Ukraine. A day earlier, during a meeting of the Council Russia-NATO, the Alliance expressed concern about what is happening in the Republic: the frequent attacks and some of the decisions of Moscow and the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk national republics. The concern of the Alliance called the decision of Russia to recognize the identity documents of the DNI and the LC in its territory, the transition to the ruble in the DNI and LC, the introduction of external management at the enterprises of Ukrainian jurisdiction.

Cooperation between NATO and Russia after the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in the Donbas has been virtually phased out. Meetings at the level of permanent representatives of the Council Russia — NATO resumed last year. However, as Stoltenberg declared to the Russian journalists, the Alliance seeks to achieve more constructive relations with Russia, as it is in the interests of both parties: his personal experience as a Norwegian diplomat confirms that it is possible to establish pragmatic relations with neighbors. “During the cold war, Oslo was able to interact successfully with the Soviet Union. “NATO acted as the platform which ensured predictability and has allowed Norway to establish cooperation with Moscow” — reminded Stoltenberg.

With Russia continue negotiations on the use of recognition systems “friend or foe” for flights of military aircraft over the Baltic sea, said Stoltenberg. In early March 2016 in Helsinki hosted the first round of expert consultations in the framework of the conference on aviation security in the region (Baltic Sea Team Project) is a platform originally created to discuss issues of civil aviation security. The next meeting is scheduled for June 2017. Moreover, according to Stoltenberg, the experts formulated recommendations for the safety of both civil and military aviation.

Russia, however, said NATO officials do not trust. In response to the teachings of the Alliance forces in the Black sea in March, Russia held their own, during which were organized fire fighting in the Crimea.

Not welcomed by Moscow and the continued expansion of NATO due to the admission of Montenegro. The country does not meet the criteria of NATO membership, said in an interview with RIA “Novosti” Director of the Department of European cooperation Ministry of foreign Affairs Andrey Kelin. “To speak of Montenegro in which the armed forces amount to less than two thousand people and whose economy is in poor condition as a country which may be at least some added value to NATO’s security — this is ridiculous,” said the diplomat. The Minister of foreign Affairs of Montenegro Srdjan Darmanovic assured that the country’s accession to NATO should not be regarded as a hostile act.