Saturday, January 22

NATO meets in Riga despite strong tensions with Moscow


Correspondent in Brussels

Updated:

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The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OTAN a two-day meeting will end this Wednesday in the capital of Latvia, Riga, in the midst of great tensions with Russia on mutual accusations of intervention plans in Ukraine.

The American Secretary of State, Antony Blink, he warned that “any escalation by Russia would be very worrying for both the United States and Latvia, and any aggression could cause serious consequences.”

The top Russian leader, Vladimir Putin it immediately warned that “if American offensive means appeared in Ukraine with the capacity to reach Moscow, Russia would be obliged to dispose of an equivalent threat” against the United States. Shortly thereafter. Moscow announced that it has a new type of hypersonic missile capable of flying at the speed of Mach 9, a characteristic that would theoretically allow it to escape any known defense system.

The choice of Riga for a meeting of NATO ministers at this time has been poorly received by Moscow, which continues to believe that the former republics that belonged to the Soviet Union are part of its sphere of influence and would consider it unacceptable for Ukraine to end. being a member of the Atlantic Alliance.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Riga on Tuesday
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Riga this Tuesday – Reuters

At the moment the Kremlin has the loyalty of the Belarusian dictatorship, whose responsible, Alexander Lukashenko, was also in Moscow yesterday to promise that in the event that Moscow entered a conflict against NATO, “Belarus would be on the side of Russia.”

In case clearer signs of homage to the Kremlin had been necessary, he recognized for the first time that the Crimean peninsula that was seized from Ukraine in 2014 “is legally and in fact part of Russia.”

Troop concentration

In this environment, the allied ministers plan to analyze the huge concentration of Russian troops along the eastern border of Ukraine, a situation that a EE.UU. it causes him “great concern.” Ukraine on Monday asked NATO to “act” urgently to dissuade Russia from an eventual invasion, but Putin continues to deny that these military movements have aggressive intentions.

«They talk about a possible Russian military intervention in Ukraine since the beginning of the year. But as you can see, such a thing did not happen, “said the Russian autocrat. Your Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, came to denounce yesterday that it is the opposite, that “NATO is concentrating military resources in the direction of the Russian border.

Other allied countries that have bad memories of Russia in the not too distant past (Poland, Latvia and Lithuania) have also asked to speak of the “hybrid attack” of Belarus towards its border, by deliberately directing thousands of candidates to enter the European Union, expressly flown in from the Middle East and Central Asia.

The Polish Prime Minister, Andrzej Duda, has called for an increase in the number of NATO forces deployed in his country and last Sunday the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, pledged to intensify cooperation to deal with this situation in which the idea of ​​applying Article 4 of the Treaty, which provides for the automatic activation of the Atlantic Alliance, seems to have been put on hold for now.

The ministers also plan to analyze the situation in Bosnia Herzegovina, which Stoltenberg described as disturbing because of the “attempt to undermine multi-ethnic institutions.” The Norwegian acknowledged that “we are concerned about the increase in tensions” and “the rhetoric” of the Serbian minority.

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