NATO fears resurgent Germany, Russia – Rogozin

AFP Photo / Marine Nationale SM David Chretien
Although Germany and Russia have developed into modern democracies with free-market systems, NATO still fears the revival of the former Nazi and Soviet states, says Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

Rogozin, Russia’s former Permanent Representative to NATO, told officers of the Aerospace Forces in the restricted area of Krasnoznamensk that no matter what type of political system Russia has the western military bloc will not change their views.

"No matter what Russia may be – imperial, communist or democratic – they see us with the same eyes as they did in the previous centuries," he said.

The same attitude applies to Germany, Rogozin says, the largest and most successful economy in the European Union.

"The relationship with Germany also remains complicated, because they still fear it,” he said. “The Germans have no more than battalions in the NATO army, which does not exist in fact but unites national forces for certain operations.”

The Germans are not allowed to form even a brigade for a particular operation. They still fear the Germans, he added.

This week, President Dmitry Medvedev appointed Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s envoy to NATO since 2008, deputy prime minister in charge of the defense complex.

­NATO's outdated principles

Rogozin went on to explain how NATO still conducts its business under the outdated principles first laid down by NATO Secretary General Lord Ismay, who held the post from 1952 til 1957.

“NATO continues to live by the principles set down by NATO Secretary General Lord Ismay: ‘America in, Germany under and Russia outside,’” Rogozin said. “This means control over German militarism; they understand…that the Germans may always develop into a force, which  will consolidate Europe around itself," he said.

Indeed, many in Germany have been calling for the creation of a European army that will eventually replace NATO, which many observers believe has overstayed its welcome.

"The long term goal is the establishment of a European army under full parliamentary control," German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle told an audience last year at the Munich Security Conference, noting that the German government "wants to advance along this path."

Meanwhile, according to Rogozin, America asserts its military presence on the continent by any means possible, while Russia is held at a distance.

“America must be represented in Europe by hook or by crook,” he said.  “Russia must be held at a distance – and the farther the better.”

This warped formula forces Russia into the position where it must keep a watchful eye on what is happening behind the scenes of US-led military bloc.

“Hence the mission of Russian diplomats, military diplomats and intelligence officers is the opposite: they must be inside all the time and prevent the Americans from being alone with the Europeans,” he said.

Commenting on the highly controversial US missile defense system, which is being constructed just miles from the Russian border, Rogozin gave a grim account of the system, and what it means for much of Europe: "NATO has no such technologies or experience, they do not understand what is going on and they do not understand that NATO, the European allies of America, are nothing but a shield and a lamb to slaughter," he said.

Rogozin, who is known for his straightforward speaking, ridiculed the Romanians for allowing components of the missile defense system on their territory, saying that they will have no control over it.

"We have scrutinized the agreement the Americans have signed with the Romanians [on the deployment of US interceptor missiles in Romania in the construction of the European missile defense],” the former NATO envoy said. “The Romanians may think they are important interception missile operators but even the base commander, a Romanian serviceman, has the right to enter only the lobby.”

He (the Romanian base commander) will never visit the control station for a very simple reason that the base is American, not  NATO, Rogozin added.

The Deputy Prime Minister believes that the United States has convinced the Europeans that they need constant US involvement in their affairs.

"The Americans invented a story that Europe cannot do without them," Rogozin said. The result of such a relationship is less than beneficial for Europe.

What this means for Europe is that they have become “hostages and targets of a retaliation attack,” without even having access to the American technologies.".

Rogozin found tremendous irony in the situation, since it was the contributions of the all the western countries that allowed for the development of such systems, which remain, nevertheless, under American control.

"The American strategy, including that within NATO, is based on the absolute technological superiority in the Western world and on European monetary contributions to the US defense sector, which are spent on the development of these systems," he concluded.