NATO in Eastern Europe

NATO in Eastern Europe

“Enemy stereotype Russia” at the Brussels meeting of the defence ministers

by Karl Müller

During their 14 June meeting, the NATO defence ministers have decided upon a closer cooperation with the Ukrainian government. This closer cooperation includes more missions beyond the borders of the NATO states and the deployment of NATO troops. The deployment to the three Baltic states and Poland include four battalions of 1,000 soldiers each plus equipment – to the three Baltic states and Poland. The meeting’s decisions are to be ratified finally adopted on 8 and 9 July at the Warsaw meeting of the Heads of State or Government.
These decisions are accompanied by verbage a wording directed, once again, against Russia, especially by NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg. In this manner he claimed, in a press conference on 14 June, after the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine commission, that the war in Eastern Ukraine was exclusively “caused by Russian action”. In the German newspaper “Bild”, he justified the deployment of the new NATO troops for the Baltic States and for Poland as having purely defensive motives: “We want to show our partners that we are there when they need us. And we want to show potential offenders that we do react when they are threatening us.” According to Stoltenberg, the threat was coming from Russia: “Stationing troops in the East is an appropriate reaction towards Russia’s aggressions.”
In contrast to this, the Russian government had previously pointed out that the NATO, also together with Ukraine, was conducting an increasing amount of increasingly many military exercises in close vicinity to the Russian border reaching from the Baltic States to the Black Sea. According to the Russian news agency Sputniknews on 6 June, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared the approach of NATO troops and their military technology towards the Russian borders as a main threat. But this would not imply that Russia would ever attack one of the NATO member states: “Our doctrine of security is clearly defining that one of the main threats is further expansion of NATO towards the east. I would like to emphasize once again, that we do not see NATO itself as a threat but the concrete style of action of this military alliance.” Lavrov added: “I am sure that serious and honest politicians are well aware that Russia will never attack any member state of the Alliance. We have no plans of this kind. I think that NATO is aware of this but that it simply makes use of the opportunity to deploy more military equipment and battalions – as a warranty guarantee that the US will continue to be permitted to supervise this region.”
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Looking back to at the founding documents of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, we find in both documents that peace was the only motivation, that the Charter of the United Nations was fully supported and wars were to be avoided. The one and only reason for this military alliance based on the need for defence, for deterrence, since there were other powers with aggressive intentions. Hence it is necessary, to this day, to compare words with facts, both historical and present – and with what is going on globally otherwise.
Hannes Hofbauer, Austrian historian, author and publisher, has published a new book in 2016: “Feindbild Russland. Geschichte einer Dämonisierung” (Enemy stereotype Russia. History of a demonization, ISBN 978-3-85371-401-0). This book contains many well-researched examples of facts and the opinion-forming dealings of the West with Russia. The book also touches upon the past three years in Ukraine, pointing out why the well-known claims of western officials (Russian “annexation” of the Crimean and Russian warmongering in Eastern Ukraine), as recently repeated by the NATO General Secretary in Brussels, are not supported by facts but are mainly formulae distorting of reality, and serving to form an enemy stereotype.
Why are there still some in the west who think that people have forgotten who it was that actually wanted to be the “only superpower” after the end of the Soviet Union and which crimes were committed in order to attain and to keep up this status? Hannes Hofbauer proves that the history of the “Enemy Russia” did not start in 1991, but reaches back a very long time. In future it is certain that the tensions will increase if those responsible in NATO (and EU) will continue to act like they have for the past 25 years.
Once again the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has called for a change of course. In an address in June at the German Chamber of Commerce in Salzburg, he has emphasized again that in his opinion he thinks that the EU sanctions against Russia are a mistake. Necessary was now a clear policy of détente towards Russia. Europe needed Russia mainly in terms of security policy. This is how Europe was different from the USA. The “Salzburger Nachrichten” of 11 June added another important consideration of Schröder: “Hence it was a severe mistake, demonstrating a lack of sensitivity, that, precisely in the year of commemoration for the German attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, Germany has taken command of NATO troop formations at the Russian border.”    •

(Kopie 1)

„NATO encirclement, the U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine, an attempt to use an agreement with the European Union to bring NATO into Ukraine at the Russian border, a U.S. nuclear first-strike policy, are all policies which attempt to substitute force for diplomacy.“

Dennis Kucinich, former US congressman, cited in: Hannes Hofbauer. Feindbild Russland. Geschichte einer Dämonisierung, 2016, p. 276

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