Does NATO turn its face towards Moscow?
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia was excluded from the list of the primary threats to the Alliance. "Russia is no an immediate threat to the alliance's partners. Russia is our neighbor, so we try to maintain a dialogue and aim for de-escalation," he stressed.
Speaking to the German DPA, Stoltenberg pointed out that NATO no longer compares Russia and ISIS. "It makes no sense to compare Russia and ISIS. ISIS is a completely different thing, which is responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in the capitals of NATO countries. Our goal is to destroy the ISIS group," the NATO secretary general noted.
In this regard, he expressed confidence that the Alliance needs to find a common language with Russia. "I think that it is important to talk with the Russians. The German side is of the same opinion. There is no contradiction between the deterrence, protection and dialogue. Of course, we have to speak the same language to be able to communicate with Russia," Stoltenberg pointed out.
At the same time, NATO will not interfere into the war in Syria. "We need to consider the arguments that speak in favor of the use of military force and those against it. In this case, the alliance partners have come to the conclusion that the arguments against the interference have a greater weight. The use of military force without a clear UN mandate would only exacerbate the conflict in Syria and lead to a larger regional conflict, and the main task of NATO is to protect the territory and the alliance partners," the NATO secretary general explained.
"NATO is not a global policeman," Jens Stoltenberg concluded.
The President of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the NATO Secretary General voiced the position of the Alliance's genuine leadership. "In the first place, Stoltenberg is an official, who is guided by the views of those on whom he depends, including the US President. The position of the elected US president, Donald Trump, roughly corresponds to what Stoltenberg said today. On the other hand, it is possible that this is just maneuvers related to the NATO acting secretary general's career adaptability," he suggested.
We should not expect that NATO will begin to take steps positive for Russia. "The strategy for the containment of Russia is fixed by NATO summits and has become systemic a long time ago. In the end, the restoration of the NATO-Russia Council is not an issue that is of fundamental importance for the relations. I strongly doubt that plans to increase manpower and resources in Europe will be changed. I do not think that Trump is a man who wants to reduce the military presence in Europe, but rather wants to make Europeans pay more for it," Mikhail Remizov noted.