In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

NATO chief tries to quell east European security fears

Posted by seumasach on March 13, 2010

Here is confirmation of John Feffer’s scenario in which NATO is riven by a division between a mainly anti-Russian role within Europe and the forging of NATO as a global player. In fact, there is no contradiction, NATO wants to go for Russia and China via Central Asia. However, this is enough to arouse fears of dinosaur Polish politicians still reliving their experiences with the Soviet Union and fearful of NATO betrayal despite their shameful grovelling before them.

Daily Times

13th March, 2010

WARSAW: NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen tried on Friday to assuage east Europeans’ concerns that the alliance does not fully safeguard their security in the face of a more assertive Russia.

Poland, the Baltic states and others, were rattled by Russia’s brief 2008 war against Georgia, and have been irked by large-scale Russian army exercises in Belarus and by Moscow’s new military doctrine that sees NATO expansion as a threat.

“The best reassurance of all (for eastern Europe) would be to engage Russia in a true strategic partnership,” Rasmussen told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Warsaw devoted to NATO’s plans for a new strategic blueprint.

“We know we have our disagreements but there are also a number of areas in which Russia and NATO countries are faced with the same threats – Afghanistan, terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and I think we should develop methods of practical cooperation.”

Washington vowed last year to press the “reset button” with Moscow. The two are trying to clinch a treaty on cutting their strategic nuclear arsenals and discussing a new round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.

“The message from Warsaw is twofold — re-engagement with Russia and reassurance for us,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.

Sikorski reiterated Poland’s long-standing desire to host NATO installations on its territory, noting that Warsaw has proven its reliability as an ally after dispatching one of the biggest contingents to the alliance’s mission in Afghanistan.

Commenting on NATO’s new strategic blueprint, which is due to be approved later this year, Rasmussen reassured the Poles that it would restate the main task of the alliance as defending all the territory and the populations of member states. reuters

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