We should not be fooled by NATO’s “defense plan” – Russia’s envoy to alliance
8 Dec, 2010 06:45
Russian envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin has drawn parallels between NATO preparing to defend the Baltic States against Russia, and the Third Reich "defending" itself from Poland in 1939 and starting World War II.
Some of the latest WikiLeaks revelations suggest double standards in Washington’s relations with Moscow. While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was smiling to her Russian counterpart speaking of a reset, she appears to have actually been secretly giving orders to draw up military plans aimed against Russia.In January, NATO agreed to beef up its forces in the Baltic as a contingency plan against a threat from the East, that is to say – Russia.This would see the alliance extending its military strength closer to Russia in a plan encompassing Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, with American, British, Polish and German forces also involved.Coming after the declared "reset" in US-Russia and NATO relations, Moscow responded to the leaked plans, saying it was "puzzled". Russia's ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin says he expects difficult discussions ahead over the issue. “We do pay close attention to WikiLeaks publications, and practice tells us that all this information looks a lot like it is true. We were especially worried about this recent information published by the Guardian newspaper where they speak of confirming the information that NATO at the beginning of this year adopted a defense plan of Baltic States and Poland against the Russian threat, from the Russian military machine. To put it in mild diplomatic terms we are puzzled by this information. We now have some questions to ask and ask soon at the first post-Lisbon meeting of the Russia-NATO council,” Rogozin acknowledged.He said “I wrote a letter to the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and to my American colleague asking them to confirm the information published by the Guardian and that such a plan really exists. We have circumstantial proof that it is so – the recent declarations by NATO officials say there’s nothing out of the ordinary that such plans exist, but they also say Russia is no threat.”“On the other hand then – what can be called a threat? An invasion by the penguins or by the white bears in the Baltic States? Or maybe Sweden is planning to attack Latvia and Finland – Estonia? This is ridiculous. Especially since Wikileaks specifically talks about Russia,” Rogozin wonders.“And if it is true – than the second question would be to our NATO colleagues – how do these plans correlate with the outcome of the Russia-NATO Lisbon summit where NATO itself said it is not a threat to Russia and that it considers Russia a strategic partner? So how can there be a defensive plan against a strategic partner?” he questions.“I hope we will be able to get down to a constructive dialogue in the event that NATO stops sitting on two chairs, but we will for a change try to figure out where they stand on Russia. And we hope that based on the Lisbon declarations about strategic partnership they will make a decision to scrap the plans for protecting the Baltic States from Russia and will make amendments to ensure that the military planning drawn up by NATO would not be aimed against Russia,” Russia’s envoy said.“I think that this is a serious blow to the reputation of the North Atlantic Alliance. It evokes suspicions of hypocrisy, that the political suitcase that NATO came to Russia with may have a false bottom,” Rogozin claimed. “And they did it while calling us a strategic partner. That’s why we will have a rather difficult discussion ahead of us especially since we have also to decide on cooperation on missile defense. How can we work together on missile defense if NATO is planning to defend the Baltic States from us?”Rogozin recalled that “Since this plan was adopted at the beginning of this year and the Lisbon agreements were reached at the end, we hope that our appeal will make the alliance reflect, will become aware of the injustice of its actions and will make a decision to scrap these plans that appear to be rather aggressive towards Russia. We should not be fooled by the fact that these plans are called defense plans because we all remember how Germany was defending itself from Poland in 1939 and started the Second World War in the process. That’s why we will insist on getting a clear answer on the substance of these documents revealed in the Guardian newspaper,” Russia’s envoy to NATO concluded.