Does NATO offer Russia peace?
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that the reunification of Crimea with Russia and problems existing between Moscow and NATO cannot be a motive for the country's isolation.
"We do not recognize the annexation of Crimea, we do not recognize propaganda, actions in cyberspace, interference in elections, but I do not consider these to be an argument for Russia's isolation," the secretary-general said.
"Russia is our neighbor, Russia will not go anywhere, and we need a dialogue with Russia," Sputnik cited Stoltenberg as saying.
Previously, he has repeatedly stressed that even in case there is no improvement in NATO-Russia relations, contacts between the parties are necessary to prevent further escalation of relations.
First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, a representative of the legislative body of the Jewish Autonomous Region, Vladimir Dzhabarov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that there are several factors making the Alliance member states to take Russia out of the list of NATO's main tasks.
"First, the meeting between Trump and Putin will be held soon, so they do not want to aggravate the situation. And second, Trump repeatedly said that the Alliance should not be funded by the US alone, that European countries should spend 2% of their budget on defence. If they continue saying that Russia poses a real threat, they will have to spend money on defense programs, but there is no such desire in Europe, because everyone understands that there is no threat in reality. So these were quite sincere words from Stoltenberg, because Russia has not approached NATO, it is the Alliance that stands uncomfortably close to us," he stressed.
The senator also commented on the proposal of the French National Front leader Marine Le Pen to include Russia in NATO for the joint fight against terrorism. "Right now the Alliance is not ready for this, but we can expect that stereotypes will be gradually eliminated," Vladimir Dzhabarov said.
A military observer of the TASS news agency, retired Colonel Viktor Litovkin, recalled that Jens Stoltenberg often say about the absence of threats from Russia, but it has no effect on NATO's behavior. "The Secretary-General constantly explains that there is no threat, but since Russia allegedly acts in Ukraine and in the Baltic States, the Alliance is forced to strengthen defense," he said.
"Therefore, Jens Stoltenberg's statement should be taken with some caution, because NATO actions say that they are trying to do everything to ensure that their contingents are deployed on the border with Russia. Their exercises on our borders show that they view us only as a threat," Victor Litovkin drew attention.
As for Marin Le Pen's proposal, according to the expert, the very idea of switching the Alliance to fight terrorism is untenable. "The alliance was initially created to counteract the USSR, then Russia, it's simply not adapted to the fight against terrorism. NATO has no opportunities for anti-terrorist activities," he stressed.