Permanent NATO Deployment to Threaten Peace in East Europe
Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 8, 2014
OPINION: Permanent NATO Deployment to Threaten Peace in East Europe
WASHINGTON: NATO’s permanent presence in Eastern Europe will not restore stability and security to the continent, rather it will threaten peace in the region, Martin Sieff, an Irish-American veteran journalist and author, told RIA Novosti.
“Such a move would seriously threaten peace instead,” Sieff said Wednesday. “The first order of business for US and European leaders should be to seek to end the rapidly escalating violence in Ukraine and to pressure the interim Ukrainian government to restrain its own militias.”
On Wednesday, NATO’s top military commander, US General Philip Breedlove, claimed that Russia’s “direct involvement in agitating the situation in eastern Ukraine” created a “new paradigm” in the region that allegedly forced the military alliance to permanently station American troops in Eastern Europe.
Sieff, a multi-Pulitzer Prize nominee, stressed that US leaders need to remember that Russia did not cause this crisis, but prominent European leaders did.
“They flew to Kiev and openly fanned and encouraged violent protests that became a violent revolution which overthrew a peaceful, constitutionally elected democratic government,” Sieff explained. “The collapse of the government in Ukraine next door to Russia is of obvious immediate national security concern to Russia.”
He claimed that Washington and Brussels need to establish a new, serious and constructive dialogue with Moscow that acknowledges Russia’s historic interests in the region and its own very real security concerns.
“Beyond this, Western leaders need to acknowledge the deep, real divisions within Ukraine and to work constructively with Russia to create a new federalized and decentralized structure for the country that will reassure different parts of the country,” Sieff emphasized.
He thinks that the creation of an atmosphere of mutual understanding and trust between NATO and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and between the United States and the Russian Federation are the two most important security issues necessary to maintain world peace.
“I fear that policymakers in Washington and Brussels have lost sight of this fundamental truth,” the journalist asserted, adding that General Breedlove’s comments “reflect the widespread Western misconception that talking tough to Russia without considering her interests or the real problems now facing the Ukrainian people can substitute for real understanding and a willingness to listen, compromise and cooperate to defuse the crisis and restore lasting peace and stability to Eastern Europe,” said Sieff.
NATO has repeatedly blamed Russia for the escalation of tensions in Ukraine and building up arms and troops on the country’s border. Earlier, it already used the crisis to justify an expansion of its military forces near Russian borders and bumped up the number of air patrol missions in Eastern Europe.
Russia has threatened to station short-range Iskander nuclear-capable missiles in the country’s European Kaliningrad region in response to US missile shield plans.