NATO Defense Ministers Meet


In Brussels, the working part of the NATO summit has begun and will discuss a number of different issues at the center of each of which is Russia.

NATO appointments and resignations

Instead of the former US Ambassador to Moscow, Alexander Vershbow, Rose Gottemoeller, also an American, was appointed Deputy Secretary General. However, it is hopeless to expect NATO to change its strategy. The opposite is expected. Rose Gottemoeller, just like Vershbow, worked in Moscow for a long time, is fluent in Russian, and is the same Russophobic person as Vershbow, albeit more familiar with the current domestic situation since she was in Russia at the beginning of the 2010’s. Vershbow, on the other hand, served as the US Ambassador in Moscow in the late 1990’s.

In addition, the post of head of NATO general intelligence has been introduced, established in connection with NATO’s desire to share intelligence with the EU for, as the US has said, coordinating the fight against ISIS. The real purpose of obtaining European intelligence might be different, especially given the fact that the CIA has long spied on European leaders and politicians, as has been repeatedly proven by local security forces.

Despite the fact that Washington insisted on the appointment of an American to this strategically important position, the former deputy head of German intelligence, Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven, has become NATO’s intelligence head.

International scandals

This is not the only background against which the summit is taking place. Shortly before the summit’s launch, several scandals erupted. Not to mention that the joint meeting will inevitably have to touch on the topic of NATO's involvement in the attempted coup in Turkey.

Yesterday, President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili called for a thorough investigation in relation to the murder of a young Georgian citizen by NATO troops. The incident happened near the NATO training center in Krtsanisi, Georgia. The nature of the injury casts doubt on the official view that the killed youth had attacked a NATO sentry. Apparently, he was shot in the back and outside the territory of the military facility.

In addition, allegations continue to be voiced that air strikes are being launched at civilians in Syria, Iraq, and even Libya, whose leadership yesterday placed the responsibility for the killing of seven civilians, including a child, on NATO.

In Cambodia, meanwhile, former US ambassador to NATO Sichan Siv is accused of fraud. It is reported that he agitated people to invest in a non-existent foundation.

Crimean factor

Speaking at the opening of the summit, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced plans to strengthen NATO’s group in the Black and Baltic seas and deploy additional battalions in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. Despite the fact that this (including the deployment of forces in Poland) is being done supposedly as part of the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, it is clear that the real purpose of these troop deployments is to put pressure on Russia.

Some NATO experts acknowledge that the initiation of NATO radar aircraft flights over Turkey is being done for the same purpose. This was confirmed by a representative of the alliance, the US diplomat Douglas Pour.

Speaking about the reasons for such NATO initiatives, Pour mentioned the movement of Russia’s “Iskander" missiles to the Kaliningrad region and mentioned that Crimea’s belonging to Russia is, in his opinion, a determining factor in NATO-Russian relations.

Strategic region

Meanwhile, NATO has announced significant reinforcements in the Black Sea. However, the main forces on which Washington counts - Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, and Georgia - have agreed to "contain Russia" only symbolically. Moreover, Moscow and Ankara have signed an agreement on exchanging intelligence data that can be used against the alliance.

In addition, Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov continues to hope for the realization of the frozen "South Stream” project, which he earlier called Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss.

Therefore, at this stage, the agreements only concern exercises. US Ambassador to NATO Douglas Pour said: "In south-eastern Romania will be a multinational brigade in which the Bulgarians will continuously participate. It will coordinate the efforts of other allies, including the United States, which will send troops to exercises in Romania and Bulgaria to strengthen NATO’s southeastern presence…”

Jens Stoltenberg admitted that, despite such ominous statements, "plans to strengthen air and sea presence in the south-east are not yet fully prepared."

Parallel processes

In addition to attempts to counter Russia in Syria and the operation in Mosul designed to weaken interstate relations in the countries of the Middle East, the alliance is continuing a number of small but critical operations under the same pretexts. These include a campaign aimed at escalating the Karabakh conflict.

NATO is continuing military-psychological exercises in Azerbaijan under the same pretext, where the alliance’s staff is holding consultations and seminars for the Azerbaijani military. The main theme of the events is "psychological and information operations in times of crisis." We can assume that this is really about the preparation of information-psychological war aimed at destroying the alliance between Baku and Moscow and, accordingly, escalating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.