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The NATO commander in chief in Europe warned that the troops on the eastern flank should be strengthened – because of the alleged Russian “troop deployment”. Apparently the discussion took place in ignorance of the Russian demands for mutual security guarantees.

The Supreme Commander of NATO, US General Tod Wolters (the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, SACEUR for short) suggested that the partner countries expand the NATO presence in Southeast Europe through the “Enhanced Forward Presence” (EFP) mission.

The reported the Spiegel on Saturday with reference to own sources of information. The reason is the Alliance’s concern about an alleged Russian troop concentration not far from the Ukrainian border.

He is said to have submitted his lecture to the commanders-in-chief of the partner nations in a secret video link. According to this, as in the Baltic States and Poland, NATO should also set up its own EFP contingents of a good 1,500 people in Bulgaria and Romania. In an emergency, these acted as a kind of advance command or bridgehead for further strengthening of the alliance.

According to Wolters, the expansion of the mission to the southern eastern flank of NATO does not represent a provocation for Russia. Rather, the increased troop presence serves as reassurance for the partner nations there. In addition, NATO will continue to adhere to the so-called NATO-Russia Act, which prohibits the permanent stationing of large troops on the eastern flank. For this reason, the troops are not permanently stationed in the Baltic States, but are constantly rotating. (A New World Order: Russia prepares to raise the curtain)

The US general spread a whole package of measures in front of the top military in the Alliance. It is important that all NATO countries use satellites and other sensors to direct their surveillance capabilities to the crisis region in Ukraine and share the findings immediately in the alliance. Wolters also warned that the mobilization deadlines for the NATO Response Force (NRF), the Alliance’s rapid reaction force, should be adjusted.

Officially, NATO did not want to confirm the internal discussions about expanding the mission on the eastern flank, writes the Spiegel. Diplomats, however, said that the subject would probably come up at the next meeting of defense ministers. The spokeswoman for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Oana Longescu, responded accordingly Spiegel– Avoiding questions.

The report also mentions a “sobering” NATO situation report. According to this, after the contraction of almost 100,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine, Russia is in a position to start an invasion and also to hold the country after an invasion. (Declaration by Russia on the US plans to hold a “Summit for Democracy”)

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After US intelligence coordinator Avril Haines presented a similar finding to the ambassadors of the partner countries in mid-November, Wolters was commissioned to play out possible reactions from NATO and to work out proposals.

The lecture by the NATO commander-in-chief was apparently several days ago. “Since the four-star general’s lecture, the troop increase on the eastern flank has been a controversial issue. While the Eastern Europeans would welcome the symbolic armament, other nations, including Germany, were reluctant, ”he said Spiegel.

The situation was completely different four years ago, when the government in Berlin very quickly declared that it would provide a large part of the troops for the NATO mission in Lithuania. There are currently 576 members of the Bundeswehr deployed there. If there were to be a new NATO mission in Bulgaria and Romania, Germany would certainly be asked again.

Russia’s catalog of demands: turning away from being viewed as an opponent

Ever since Russia gave its NATO representatives extensive catalog of requirements on December 15 and published it two days later, the proposal about NATO’s expansion plans seems a bit out of date. In the document, Russia also demands that NATO withdraw its military infrastructure to the 1997 positions and work out mutual security guarantees with Russia.

Russia is proposing that each other refrain from stationing armed forces and weapons – also within the framework of international organizations, military alliances or coalitions – in areas where such a stationing would be perceived by the other side as a threat to their national security.

Moscow also proposed an agreement to the alliance to return to the NATO-Russia Council, restore channels of communication and move away from mutual adversarial considerations.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated in a comment on Friday that the proposals were not a menu from which each side could only choose one item, but that they had to be discussed as a whole as a “package”. However, according to Ryabkov, the Russian demands cannot be considered unacceptable. He said:

“I think the situation in Europe and Eurasia in recent times is so radically different from everything that was before that no templates, no standards from the old experience of that time are applicable here.”

Russian Foreign Ministry warns NATO: We reserve the right to answer in the military-technical area

According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, the moment of truth has struck for the relationship between Russia and NATO. According to him, Moscow is offering the alliance a political path to strengthen security in Eurasia. At the same time, he warns of the consequences of not following the mediation proposals.

On December 18, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko granted TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov an interview on YouTube. There he responded to the latest offer by the Russian government to NATO regarding security in the Euro-Atlantic area. The Russian diplomat expressed his opinion that this time the Western military alliance will not succeed in simply dismissing Moscow’s proposal and ignoring it.

Grushko announced that Russia had expressed its willingness to enter into dialogue with the Alliance’s latest draft treaty. The goal is to redirect a military confrontation scenario on a political path that should strengthen the security of all states of the OSCE as well as in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian area. Moscow had made it clear to the alliance that its position was serious:

“If this does not succeed, we too go into the mode of creating counter-threats. But then it will be too late to ask why we made this and that decision and stationed this and that system at the respective location. “

Russia had presented its positions honestly and openly. It is important that Europeans think about whether they want to turn their continent into a place of military confrontation. NATO must take Russia’s offer seriously. There are only two ways:

“Either you take what we have put on the table seriously. Or you are dealing with a military-technical alternative. “

The Russian diplomat said that relations between Russia and NATO had already reached a dangerous line. Now is the moment of truth.

“Our proposals are aimed precisely at stepping back from this dangerous line and starting a normal dialogue, which should be based on the interests of security.”

Grushko also announced that Moscow would consistently enforce its view of European security. Russia has all the technical means to ensure its military security. Russia’s deputy foreign minister accused the Western military alliance of living in an invented world that had nothing in common with the interests of European security.

The so-called threat from the East is the only factor today that holds the transatlantic uniqueness together. This is extremely dangerous, because all of NATO’s activities serve only one goal – to survive.

On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry published two Russian draft treaties with the United States and NATO. In these documents, among other things, Moscow called for no further eastward expansion of NATO and proposed mutual security guarantees.

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Sources: PublicDomain /de.rt.com am 19.12.2021

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